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composers we don't get...

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I find it interesting that preferences with regard to classical music seem to generate greater differences than other genres.

Most people here appreciate various bits of rock, jazz, soul and other genres, yet utterly detest specific classical stuff.

I'm not the greatest Stravinsky fan, but find it perfectly listenable. OTOH, I have a few Sibelius pieces that I would find it hard to live without hearing again. Please, Finlandia is a stunning work played well.

Generally, I find my tastes remarkably similar to Serge, but I'm afraid I am firmly in the camp that does not get Vaughan Williams. Lark really grates on my nerves frankly. I find it verging on the twee, and intensely annoying.

Can we all agree, however, that any Bach organ work needs to be considered the pinnacle of human achievement?

You're right about the differences of opinion, but then again so called classical covers an enormous range of styles and sound worlds. There is more difference between Jobathan Harvey and Bach the in any other genre.

personally I'm not very keen on the Romantics post Beethoven but love Bach and much Shostakovich on. Whilst I sometimes like to wallow in rachmaninov I also like to be challenged both by Bach and contemporary composers.

The musical world would be poorer without the soundscapes and spirituality of Gubaidulina, the pithy wit and sounds of Ades, the complex journeys into Birtwhistle, the soaring apparent simplicity of Glass, the rewards of finding a way into Boulez.

I think we are incredibly fortunate not only to have our classical legacy but also have such creative minds, extending language and sounds. It can be a puzzle at first, but is as with abstract painting learning to cope without a "subject", learning to listen without the prop of a tune is very liberating leading to worlds of listening intrigue, stimulation and pleasure.

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The musical world would be poorer without the soundscapes and spirituality of Gubaidulina, the pithy wit and sounds of Ades, the complex journeys into Birtwhistle, the soaring apparent simplicity of Glass, the rewards of finding a way into Boulez.

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Except for Boulez*.

VB

*The French have form http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bogdanov_affair.

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Of the major ones, I don't get/like Mahler nor Prokofiev nor Shostakovich nor Stravinsky nor Elgar nor Vaughan Williams.

R

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Except for Boulez*.

VB

*The French have form http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bogdanov_affair.

His music doesn't exactly invite you in. It was Barenboim including Boulez in his Beethoven cycle a couple of years ago that piqued my interest. Once you push hard enough against the door to peek in you find a kaleidoscope of sound, in some ways full fat Webern.

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His music doesn't exactly invite you in. It was Barenboim including Boulez in his Beethoven cycle a couple of years ago that piqued my interest. Once you push hard enough against the door to peek in you find a kaleidoscope of sound, in some ways full fat Webern.

Ah. Webern. A composer whose redeeming feature is that he wrote so little. Actually I do like his stuff, but it's precisely the sparsity that makes it so lovely.

VB

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You certainly can't whistle a Boulez tune, but his textural colours and sonorities are so beguiling to me, they place him in that direct and uniquely French line from Debussy, through Messaiaen and Dutilleux, a bit severe in some early works (to say the least) but at his best (Repons etc.) worth every penny.

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Messiaen - that's one I don't 'get'.

Along with pretty much anything by Schumann - although fortepianist Andreas Staier manages to turn the piano concerto from kitsch to interesting, certainly a first in my experience.

--- which makes me wonder if some of the composers we don't get are misunderstood because they themselves wouldn't recognise their own music the way we hear it played today?

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Seem to be doing a good job of not liking what I will be bringing to Scalford (room permitting). I've lined up a whole box set of RVW symphonies, Scenes from Faust by Schumann, the Liszt Faust symphony, the du Pre/Baker disc (just because everyone should know it) etc. Be listening on my own by the looks of it...

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Shostakovich - do like the 5th, 10th & 11 symphonies. He's probably the bloke I have tried the hardest to like and failed

Bax - Garden of Fand is ok. Wonderful LP on Chandos label

Bliss - worst possible name

Berg - also tried and failed

Webern - totally lost on me. I do like Schönberg though

Nielsen - Scores a zero. Prefer the sound of my kettle boiling

Scriabin - If only he was 1% as good as he thought he was he would have been brilliant

Most Americans - notable exception: Philip Glass

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Mahler - far better to play than to listen to IME. As the Bluffer's Guide to Music states: 'A Mahler symphony is something you can get up from, come back 20 mins later and not feel like you've missed anything'.

Sibelius - I've tried, and failed. The only thing he composed which floats my boat is the big Clarinet solo at the beginning of Sib 1.

- - - Updated - - -

Noooo - I'll be there for the RVW :^

Ditto that. :)

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Mahler - far better to play than to listen to IME. As the Bluffer's Guide to Music states: 'A Mahler symphony is something you can get up from, come back 20 mins later and not feel like you've missed anything'.

Werll ... I would agree that applies to some of Mahler's later indulgences - the 7th and 9th symphonies come to mind.

But imo 1 - 6 are very tautly composed and I would notice a missing 20 minute (or 20 second) chunk very easily (and painfully).

And as for not liking Sibelius - I can't even begin to get my head around that!

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Shostakovich - do like the 5th, 10th & 11 symphonies. He's probably the bloke I have tried the hardest to like and failed

Bax - Garden of Fand is ok. Wonderful LP on Chandos label

Bliss - worst possible name

Berg - also tried and failed

Webern - totally lost on me. I do like Schönberg though

Nielsen - Scores a zero. Prefer the sound of my kettle boiling

Scriabin - If only he was 1% as good as he thought he was he would have been brilliant

Most Americans - notable exception: Philip Glass

Nielsen?? His 5th Symphony is a complete masterpiece, and his 4th ain't bad.

Agree with you about most of the rest though.

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Mahler - far better to play than to listen to IME. As the Bluffer's Guide to Music states: 'A Mahler symphony is something you can get up from, come back 20 mins later and not feel like you've missed anything'.

Sibelius - I've tried, and failed. The only thing he composed which floats my boat is the big Clarinet solo at the beginning of Sib 1.

- - - Updated - - -

Ditto that. :)

A bit harsh that about Mahler, but it is certainly true of some Bruckner.

Have to agree with Jerry about Sibelius. Love much of his stuff.

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