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The Classical Music Recommendation Thread


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The best way to hear Holst's Planets is to perform Holst's Planets.   Observations: 1. Wow, what an incredible work! 2. What I thought would be difficult wasn't that hard and what

Some Amazon reviews for your amusement.

I've been musing on Shostakovich a lot lately. His string quartets, especially. So many gems littered across that repertoire.  

11 hours ago, Steve McQueen said:

While I have no qualms agianst harpsichord, I must agree that the full effect of Bach's keyboard works can only be heard on piano.

Bach is remarkable in that way.  His music sounds good on just about any instrument.  

 

(I eagerly await someone seriously performing the Well - Tempered Clavier on Yamaha DX-7 MkII or SY99 electric piano) @Nick Parker, thoughts?

 

We're uppin' the ante, FS1R or bust! 

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On 6/25/2018 at 7:12 AM, Bespin said:

About Bach, Beethoven and Mozart, I remember I made 22 volumes compilation... for each in Spotify.

It's chronologically ordered... That's was a challenge to make... and well it's an interesting way to (re)discover all these works!

For beginners in classical music... it helps to understand that Beethoven didn't wrote all his 9 symphonies and 32 piano sonatas the same day! ;)

Well Mozart's kochel listings help, and Beethoven's opus recordings likewise. Tricky about Bach though, yes.

On 6/25/2018 at 11:13 AM, Bespin said:

My favorite Well-Tempered Clavier version is by Ashkenazy.

Ashkenazy is quite masterful. I like his work, especially Rachmaninoff.

Image result for ashkenazy rachmaninov piano concerto 2

Highly recommended recording and a great introduction to Rachmaninoff!

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Anna S. Þorvaldsdóttir - In the Light of Air

 

Very nice piece, actually. It takes me back to my trip to Iceland a couple of years ago and witnessing the unforgettable views of Hekla, as well as the vast tundra as it stretched far back into the horizon until you could just about see the edge of the great Vatnajökull ice cap. I imagine this is what you would get if you took the Icelandic landscape and converted it into music format.

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Carmina Burana by Carl Orff

This is probably my favorite choral work ever. I went to see it in concert with the Canadian National Academy Orchestra and it was absolutely splendid. O Fortuna is so powerful and darn epic, and many of the solos were well done. If you haven't heard this, it's high on my list. 

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3 hours ago, karelm said:

John Adams' complete opera recording of Dr. Atomic has finally been released on recording.  Previously, it was only available in the symphonic suite or on blue ray.  Sit back and give the whole thing a listen in one sitting.  Very much worth the 2.5 hours!

This is an extremely interesting topic for an opera since the subject isn't so much about the first atomic bomb but that is the context in which the story is set.  It is the days just before the very first testing of the first bomb at the trinity test sight in Nevada.  The opera is really more of a psychological exploration of the internal turmoil of the conflicting emotions of what they have created and what they are about to unleash on the world, changing it forever.  As fans of history and this subject know, Oppenheimer, the extremely brilliant mastermind of the project is ultimately reduced to a very broken man and rejected by all his peers as he takes up an anti-nuclear position.  Very Faustian in that he conquers the secrets of the universe and loses his soul in the process and this opera is absolutely brilliant and quite intense if experienced in a single sitting.  I found the final seconds nail bitting and full of tension as the countdown reaches zero and the opera ends in silence as a new weapon is detonated.  You really get a sense for how bitter and broken he was at the end of his life in just about any late interview such as this one:

 

 

Could be the greatest opera since Pelleas.

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The last performance of Symphonie fantastique I've heard was by Junge Deutsche Philharmonie back in March and it was AWESOME. It was a part of the orchestra's European tour and the same concert can still be seen e.g. in the Digital Concert Hall of the Berlin Philharmonic (I think it's even free of charge to watch).

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12 hours ago, Jurassic Shark said:

The work is indeed awesome! What's your favourite recording?

 

I don't really know it well enough to answer that! I have listened to the early Munch recording with the BSO, and a little of Bernstein's studio recordings with the NYPO and French National Orchestra. But so far the one I linked sounds to me the best performance.

 

EDIT: Now I'm listening to Stokowski, which is pretty good too!

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3 hours ago, Loert said:

 

I don't really know it well enough to answer that! I have listened to the early Munch recording with the BSO, and a little of Bernstein's studio recordings with the NYPO and French National Orchestra. But so far the one I linked sounds to me the best performance.

 

EDIT: Now I'm listening to Stokowski, which is pretty good too!

 

It is really fun to play too especially if you are in the low brass where you are never told you are playing too loudly in the last two movements.  I played the bass trombone part with the Pacific Symphony maybe last year.  We had three tubas!  I forget the specifics but it might have been one tuba and two euphoniums.  I was sitting next to Jim Self who we all know as the "mothership" voice from Close Encounters of the Third Kind.  I know I asked him something stupid in between rehearsal moments like "what was that like?" or something.

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22 hours ago, Maglorfin said:

The last performance of Symphonie fantastique I've heard was by Junge Deutsche Philharmonie back in March and it was AWESOME. It was a part of the orchestra's European tour and the same concert can still be seen e.g. in the Digital Concert Hall of the Berlin Philharmonic (I think it's even free of charge to watch).

 

Here it is, in case anybody wants to watch it: https://www.digitalconcerthall.com/en/concert/51156

It also includes a great performance of Messiaen's Les offrandes oubliées.

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Have been listening to Carl Vine lately.  

His 5th String Quartet is quite excellent.  Mature writing, a full realization of ideas he had been exploring in his other quartets.  Some very interesting harmonies to start things off in the 1st movement.  Remarkable use of harmonics throughout.  Absolutely gorgeous 2nd movement, and a surprisingly lively dance based 3rd.  Pleasure to listen to.

 

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