Mudcat Café message #1707997 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #90211   Message #1707997
Posted By: Ron Davies
01-Apr-06 - 12:25 AM
Thread Name: Classical music - what makes you listen?
Subject: RE: Classical music - what makes you listen?
Oh boy, I could be on this for hours. I love a lot of Vivaldi, especially in winter--it's such warm cozy music--especially like the mandolin concerti. I'm swept away (appropriately enough) by the Vaughn Williams Sea Symphony--the surging and falling is so evocative. It seems so English to me--hard to realize the poetry is by Walt Whitman. Also really love Vaughn Williams Fantasia on Greensleeves and the Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis. Got a chance to sing the 40-voice motet that's based on--a great experience.

I passionately love all 4 of Brahms' symphonies--particularly the rich string sound of the 4th movement theme of the Brahms First. Always have to listen to the Beethoven Pastoral all the way through--can't do much of anything else while it's playing--especially love the very start of it and the cuckoo towards the end. Always think it's funny the storm is so well-mannered.

Really like some bombast too--though mostly instrumental bombast--love Wagner overtures--especially Tannhaueser and Meistersinger. Some Verdi--lots from Aida, mostly the greatest hits--which the chorus mostly gets--having been in big choral groups for over 20 years, I've had a chance to sing them several times--makes it even better to hear it.

Love Russian choral music--which is of course great for any bass-- especially the Rachmaninoff Vespers--above all the "Ave Maria" (in Russian). Very evocative of huge Russian churches and of deep faith--though Rachmaninoff himself was not at all religious.

Always like to hear the famous Rodrigo guitar pieces--Concierto de Aranjuez and Fantasia Para un Gentilhombre. Again it conjures up scenes.

Never get tired of the Mozart Requiem--going to sing it again in 2 weeks. Ever since Amadeus I find it summons up scenes from the movie--especially the Lachrymosa, which I believe is played while Mozart's body is carried to the paupers' mass grave, thrown in, and then more lime. Also in the movie was an excerpt from the Serenade, with a wonderfully flowing clarinet line.

My all-time favorite piece is probably the Brahms Requiem (auf Deutsch) which speaks of hope and consolation, rather than hellfire, is much more inclusive than other Requiems, and is wonderfully rich both to sing and to listen to.

From the moment I get in the door, I have music on, and it's often classical, especially if I'm reading, working at the computer or going to bed.

It would actually be a lot easier to say the classical music I don't listen to--which is mostly modern music, where the idea seems to be to break as many rules as possible and/or depict the chaos of modern life. So Respighi, especially the Birds, Ancient Airs and Dances etc, is fine; Gershwin is fine--but after Gershwin that's about it, except some Bernstein.

By the way, is Bruch's Adagio appassionata a whole piece or just a movement? I love his Violin Concerto and Scottish Fantasy.