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The Classical Music Thread: Scriabin Edition

ElendilElendil Registered User regular
edited October 2009 in Debate and/or Discourse
In this thread, we discuss old music and not old music that is still classical. Of this music, the most important was obviously that of Alexander Scriabin, but other, less major, composers include Johann Sebastian Bach, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven, Richard Wagner, Claude Debussy, Igor Stravinsky, Dmitri Shostakovich, György Ligeti, and countless others.


180px-Skrjabin_Alexander.jpg

Alexander Scriabin


Primarily a piano composer, he wrote ten sonatas, a concerto, a number of preludes and etudes and various other small pieces for it. He also wrote five symphonies. His early work is fairly typically--though competently--Romantic, but the last half of his works veer increasingly toward a unique style of highly chromatic harmony and mystic notions.

Op. 8 No. 12 Etude

Vers La Flamme
Op. 74 No. 2 Prelude

So, D&D: any other great classical music loves? I seem to have a particular affinity for the early moderns, roughly between 1890-1940. Debussy, Mahler, Berg, Stravinsky, and others (in addition to Scriabin) tend to be my favorites.

And for something more recent, I've been thinking of picking up more by Per Nørgård whose Terrains Vagues I really enjoyed. I've been trying to branch out into more contemporary music.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17mG4lsxPLg

Elendil on
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Posts

  • OctoparrotOctoparrot Registered User
    edited October 2009
    I love Scriabin, he intended to sing the song that ends the world.

    the GOP shouldn't give a rats ass about them since they won't vote for them. If someone won't vote for you they might as well not exist.
  • CokebotleCokebotle 穴掘りの Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    My question is, when you say "classical music", do you refer to full orchestras performing music? For example, the London Symphony Orchestra performing an orchestration medley of the Legend of Zelda music is still "classical music"? Or movie soundtracks like Pirates of the Caribbean, as composed by Klaus Badelt?

    I really enjoyed the Lord of the Rings music composed by a Dutch composer whose name escapes me at the moment (not the music for the movies, this was done a LONG time before then). It was short, only about 5 movements total. I'll have to dig through my music when I get home. It's been a while since I've listened to my classical stuff.

    Edit: Ah! It was the Lord of the Rings by Johann de Meij.

    工事中
  • LoveIsUnityLoveIsUnity Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    I don't feel like digging up any links, but Chopin's Nocturnes are awesome. I listen to them a lot when I'm running.

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  • CheerfulBearCheerfulBear Registered User
    edited October 2009
    Cokebotle wrote: »
    My question is, when you say "classical music", do you refer to.....

    Oh god, nooooooo.....

  • ElendilElendil Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Soundtracks could probably be material enough for another thread.

    Exception: Bernard Herrmann because I want to make sweet, sweet love to the Vertigo soundtrack.

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  • AmphetamineAmphetamine Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    I'll take up the role of resident cellist-who-never-posts and throw some good shit into the mix:

    Before I begin, Jacqueline du Pre is the greatest cellist of all time (possibly greatest musician of all time).

    This is arguably her finest interpretation of any of the many cello concertos she recorded and played over her short lived career. At the least it is her most famous.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L5C99JyP2ns

    Rostropovich ain't a bad player though. Greatest cello concerto ever from a pure composition standpoint right here, bitches:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xxYbF-Yzdf0&feature=PlayList&p=D8E7AAADC0E5D7CF&index=26

    More Rostropovich interpreting Schumann's Cello Concerto in A minor, a fucking phenomenal piece of music.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UwOisqjXUEo

    OH WHAT THE HELL. MORE ROSTROPOVICH BECAUSE HE'S EASIER TO FIND ON YOUTUBE.

    I think one of the most intriguing bits about the Brahms Cello Sonata in E Minor (especially movement 1) is how it utilizes the lower register of the instrument for the main theme, as opposed to the majority of other cello concertos/sonatas which seem to focus way more on the higher tuned two of the four strings on the instrument.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BM-6B8_Jj-o


    These are good starters, more to come.

  • emnmnmeemnmnme Heard about this on conservative radio:Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    After hearing him play some Beethoven sonatas, I read a biography on pianist Rudolph Serkin once. It wasn't exciting.

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  • CokebotleCokebotle 穴掘りの Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Elendil wrote: »
    Soundtracks could probably be material enough for another thread.

    Exception: Bernard Herrmann because I want to make sweet, sweet love to the Vertigo soundtrack.

    Righty-o. Just wanted to make sure I stick with the thread and not derail it.

    工事中
  • CheerfulBearCheerfulBear Registered User
    edited October 2009
    Amphetamine, you are a good person for all of that. Are we to assume that you are a cellist?

  • ElendilElendil Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    My favorite cello concertos are the Shostakovich 1 (I think I might have Rostropovich in that one) and the Ligeti.

    I fucking love the Ligeti one because it hardly even sounds like a cello work.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XrUYDwmp0-s

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  • AmphetamineAmphetamine Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Amphetamine, you are a good person for all of that. Are we to assume that you are a cellist?

    Yes, classically trained for 12 years.

  • ElendilElendil Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Octoparrot wrote: »
    I love Scriabin, he intended to sing the song that ends the world.

    I've been eyeing the so-called "Mysterium" completion for a while, but I've heard such mixed reviews. Still, I'm intrigued by, if nothing else, the orchestrations of some of the late piano music. I have an irrational love of orchestrations and transcriptions.

    I saw a concert once that ended with a version of the Saint-Saens cello concerto for tuba and piano.

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  • AsiinaAsiina Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    It's funny because while I tend to enjoy baroque music as a whole more than other periods, it's just such a big pain in the ass to play. I'm looking at you Bach.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a6dedmDR8q0

    You go right to hell for this piece.

    My favourites of music I've played myself:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lNDCsmasTgg

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_WVtv_5A-ic


    And something just for fun:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6hQnBc5sQU

  • KhavallKhavall Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Yo you is all OLD MOTHERFUCKERS

    Let me bring in da new school shit brothers.

    Yo GRANDFATHER didn't listen to this hell naw.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OHntTsE-5wQ
    Awww jeaaaah Ferneyhough in the HIZ-OUSE

    Oh I'm bustin' out of my shell mothufuckers,
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VmO6bY56YlY
    BAM Take some Xenacis ALL UP INS
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S6nrJ3ByzzE
    JOHN ADAMS FROM NOWHERE WHAT WHAT

    OH WHAT, Shit too REAL for you? Shit too NEW SCHOOL for you? Well then let's KICK IT OLD SCHOOL MOTHERFUCKERS

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGWai0SEpUQ

    OLLLLLLD OLD SCHOOL, WE TALKIN' BOUT MODERNIZM ALL UP IN YO'S FACE
    WHAT'S THAT YOU WANT SOME MORE?!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Z1N9BLS0B4
    AWWWW DAAAAAMMMMMMNNNNNNNNNNNNNN

  • AsiinaAsiina Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Cokebotle wrote: »
    My question is, when you say "classical music", do you refer to full orchestras performing music? For example, the London Symphony Orchestra performing an orchestration medley of the Legend of Zelda music is still "classical music"? Or movie soundtracks like Pirates of the Caribbean, as composed by Klaus Badelt?

    I really enjoyed the Lord of the Rings music composed by a Dutch composer whose name escapes me at the moment (not the music for the movies, this was done a LONG time before then). It was short, only about 5 movements total. I'll have to dig through my music when I get home. It's been a while since I've listened to my classical stuff.

    Edit: Ah! It was the Lord of the Rings by Johann de Meij.

    Ah yes. I remember playing Gandalf in high school. This really brings me back.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IorOng9qUOo

  • CheerfulBearCheerfulBear Registered User
    edited October 2009
    That modern stuff is so bad.

  • KhavallKhavall Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
  • ElendilElendil Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
  • CheerfulBearCheerfulBear Registered User
    edited October 2009
    Khavall wrote: »
    I don't understand modern music

    what was that grandpa?

    Death, death to you and your ilk.

  • KhavallKhavall Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Hey so you know how if you have two record players playing together, even though they'll supposedly be at the same speed, they'll slowly but surely get off of one another, or since one is playing slightly slower, it'll be detuned slightly?

    Man what if someone came up with music like, emulating that? Wouldn't that be crazy?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EU85bUyDPWs

    Charles Ives is awesome.

  • KhavallKhavall Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Khavall wrote: »
    I don't understand modern music

    what was that grandpa?

    Death, death to you and your ilk.

    I could type out a long and thought out response essentially on why contemporary music is absolutely incredible music and why most people can't listen to it here, which really started in the late-1700s/early-1800s with the advent of deliberately composed music, as opposed to the earlier formulaic or transcribed improvisational music, and explain why both status and contract music, as well as the gray areas in between have a place in musical society...

    But really YOU OLD GET WITH THE TIMES

  • AsiinaAsiina Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    You know, I get modern music. I understand the big FUCK YOU they're going for and pushing boundaries of music and all that.

    I get it. It's an intellectual exercise.

    That doesn't mean it sounds good.

  • AmphetamineAmphetamine Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Asiina wrote: »
    You know, I get modern music. I understand the big FUCK YOU they're going for and pushing boundaries of music and all that.

    I get it. It's an intellectual exercise.

    That doesn't mean it sounds good.

    are we talking about 12 tone?

    because I'm pretty sure the only time I can appreciate 12 tone is when I'm stoned.

  • AsiinaAsiina Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    People just need to accept that appreciating something and liking it are two mutually exclusive things.

    I can appreciate modern music for what it is and what it does and what it means, but it's still fucking terrible to listen to.

  • ElendilElendil Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    I find plenty of it perfectly listenable.

    Back on the Xenakis thing, I've always liked Jonchaies:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IfLayRi_hEQ

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  • KhavallKhavall Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Asiina wrote: »
    You know, I get modern music. I understand the big FUCK YOU they're going for and pushing boundaries of music and all that.

    I get it. It's an intellectual exercise.

    That doesn't mean it sounds good.

    Modernism isn't going for any "FUCK YOU" That's postmodernism. Well sort of. That was Dada, which was the father art of postmodernism.

    Modernism also isn't purely an intellectual exercise, it was created because Schoenberg felt that the tonal constructs were pretty much played out, and even though the later romanticists began expanding the tonal library and structure, Schoenberg basically took that idea and ran with it, completely destroying the tonal construct in favor of one he created, one that hoped to put each note on equal footing as opposed to the hierarchical way tonality treats notes. Now, in my opinion the problem was that he enacted such a weird and strict system to replace tonality, but the idea was still a pretty cool one, and when understood actually provides much more flexibility than structural tonality does.

    Also, it sounds just fine assuming one of two things: You learn to listen to it, or (theoretically) you never learned the tonal system first. After all, while the 12-tone and various other modernist systems are artificially created, so was tonality, just much more gradually(Actually, there's a really interesting thing to look at with tonality and the harmonic series, but it doesn't invalidate this point), and people are more used to it. The only reason tonality "sounds good" to you is because you've been trained through your entire life to listen to tonality.

    so no. I don't think you "get" modern music at all, it what I'm trying to say here.



    EDIT: Wow that last part came out super-douchey. Of course, I'm a pretentious snob so

  • GreasyKidsStuffGreasyKidsStuff Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Bustin' some Jupiter out here. The Planets Suite is awesome. I hate this version though, it sounds fast at the beginning. But that's probably cuz the London Symphony Orchestra recording I have is slower.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nz0b4STz1lo&feature=related

    http://twitter.com/#!/dirtylonghair - My Twitter / GT: GreasyKidsStuff / NNID: GreasyKidsStuff / 3DS Friend Code: 4828 5290 8757 / Digital Comics Codes
  • AsiinaAsiina Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Khavall wrote: »
    Asiina wrote: »
    You know, I get modern music. I understand the big FUCK YOU they're going for and pushing boundaries of music and all that.

    I get it. It's an intellectual exercise.

    That doesn't mean it sounds good.

    Modernism isn't going for any "FUCK YOU" That's postmodernism. Well sort of. That was Dada, which was the father art of postmodernism.

    Modernism also isn't purely an intellectual exercise, it was created because Schoenberg felt that the tonal constructs were pretty much played out, and even though the later romanticists began expanding the tonal library and structure, Schoenberg basically took that idea and ran with it, completely destroying the tonal construct in favor of one he created, one that hoped to put each note on equal footing as opposed to the hierarchical way tonality treats notes. Now, in my opinion the problem was that he enacted such a weird and strict system to replace tonality, but the idea was still a pretty cool one, and when understood actually provides much more flexibility than structural tonality does.

    Also, it sounds just fine assuming one of two things: You learn to listen to it, or (theoretically) you never learned the tonal system first. After all, while the 12-tone and various other modernist systems are artificially created, so was tonality, just much more gradually(Actually, there's a really interesting thing to look at with tonality and the harmonic series, but it doesn't invalidate this point), and people are more used to it. The only reason tonality "sounds good" to you is because you've been trained through your entire life to listen to tonality.

    so no. I don't think you "get" modern music at all, it what I'm trying to say here.

    You're wrong about both tonality and my understanding of it. I don't really have time to get into the neurological details, but the idea of various intervals being considered consonant and others dissonant, and our associating them as pleasing sounds or not is much more hardwired than you are giving people credit for. Infants (3-month-olds) can hear the difference and are better able to encode "traditionally" consonant intervals (perfect 5ths and octaves) while having difficulty with tritones and minor 9ths. (Look up studies by Laurel Trainor for more information).

    The idea of scales (and by scales I'm referring to the old mode system) is not the only way to organize sound or create harmony. And maybe if we live in a society dominated by a twelve-tone method of composition everything would be different, but as it is key structure and implied harmony is ingrained in children as young as 4-years-old. To say that someone who doesn't find this kind of music pleasing is just "not getting it" it absolutely underestimating the capabilities of our minds in childhood, and how quickly they pick up and code patterns.

    I understand what Schoenberg was trying to do (although personally I wasn't speaking only about him in my original post). However, throwing out the system that dominates and any all melody in western culture is not the way to make music that people enjoy.

    Which is why I characterize it as an intellectual exercise.

    With all that said, I'm going to bed.

  • themightypuckthemightypuck MontanaRegistered User regular
    edited October 2009
    I'm a lowbrow classical fan. I love all the obvious stuff like Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata and that Elgar Cello above. I taught myself to badly play the Beethoven and my mom dismissively remarked "THAT warhorse?"

    “Reject your sense of injury and the injury itself disappears.”
    ― Marcus Aurelius
  • KhavallKhavall Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    So then the music of cultures that don't use a tonal structure and music pre-1650 happened because....?


    Some of it's hardwired, but a lot of it is also learned.

    And, even without mentioning Schoenberg... he's pretty much the founder of modernistic music. Any discussion about the "point" of modernistic music is of course going to mention Schoenberg.

    Also, making music that people enjoy is an absolutely retarded goalpost. Which people? I enjoy a lot of modern music and postmodern music, because I've been trained to listen to and exposed to enough of it that I can digest it correctly. Even then, there are some pieces I enjoy and some I don't. And even then part of it can depend on the specific knowledge I have of the piece.

    The problem isn't that it's an intellectual exercise, which apparently you have your own definition of, or that some arbitrarily defined set of people that you chose don't like it, but that it is beyond what a person without advanced training and exposure to music is ready to listen to. And even then, that person without advanced training is getting a more sophisticated ear all the time... People no longer riot when Stravinsky is played for instance, a lot of people can listen to and enjoy some Ligeti and Carter pieces... it's only the really crazy stuff that gets them.

    And that is a huge majority of the population, that won't get it, because it's absolutely fucking retarded to study this shit. So retarded. Anyone who does is dooming themselves to a singular life, so they'd better be the specific kind of fucked up that is ok with doing that shit.

    So yes, to you it might not sound good. And to a large portion of the population it might not sound good. But to say that people don't like it, and that it doesn't sound good period is the dumbest shit. "I don't like it"? fine. "It sounds bad. People don't like it"? Get out. Contemporary music is more sophisticated, more advanced, more expressive, pretty much all around better by any measure other than "People like it", because it's about being really fucking good, not getting the biggest number of fans. And it's very enjoyable when you learn to listen to it. It takes some work still to listen to it, but it's definitely enjoyable.

  • CoinageCoinage The man from the other side Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    I absolutely love that Charles Ives quartertone piece. I also love this piece by Alfred Schnittke.
    Concerto Grosso 1
    There used to be a really good live version of it but it got taken down for some reason.
    Asiina wrote: »
    You know, I get modern music. I understand the big FUCK YOU they're going for and pushing boundaries of music and all that.

    I get it. It's an intellectual exercise.

    That doesn't mean it sounds good.
    It's not an intellectual exercise, and only some of it is a fuck you, it's expressing emotion in a manner you don't understand. I am deeply moved by that Schnittke piece, and it's not unpleasant for me at all. Why? I don't know! But I don't want this debate to ruin this awesome thread.

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  • CokebotleCokebotle 穴掘りの Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    I remember I played a modern or postmodern piece in band once. The music wasn't so much "Play this note here and here" it was "Um... twiddle around on notes in this range for this much time. Play in a lower range than the chair above you."

    That kind of music just doesn't sound appealing to me, and makes absolutely no sense. To me, it was a 2-3 minute long piece of noise.

    Edit: I'm also trying vainly to remember the other piece I really enjoyed. The tune of the first movement still gets stuck in my head occasionally.

    Check that, Lincolnshire Posy!

    工事中
  • BlackDragon480BlackDragon480 Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    A page and a half and no Berlioz, for shame.

    Symphonie Fantastique Mvt. 5

    EDIT: Forgot, he did the druged out sword conducting on the Grande Symphonie, not the Fantastique.

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  • Loren MichaelLoren Michael Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    I'm a huge Beethoven fan.

    This isn't my favorite arrangement, but Beethoven's 9th/Ode to Joy is just badass and a half:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lsFvnL7e1cE

    I'm also a Rossini fan and feel that one of the great tragedies of the 20th centuries is the kitschification of The William Tell Overture by the Lone Ranger.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JkymTHSbWe0

    And Holst...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rsU8ZXUYZt0

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  • CheerfulBearCheerfulBear Registered User
    edited October 2009
    Khavall wrote: »
    So yes, to you it might not sound good. And to a large portion of the population it might not sound good. But to say that people don't like it, and that it doesn't sound good period is the dumbest shit. "I don't like it"? fine. "It sounds bad. People don't like it"? Get out. Contemporary music is more sophisticated, more advanced, more expressive, pretty much all around better by any measure other than "People like it", because it's about being really fucking good, not getting the biggest number of fans. And it's very enjoyable when you learn to listen to it. It takes some work still to listen to it, but it's definitely enjoyable.

    Funny, since with "typical" classical music you generally have to learn how to like in the first place. You cannot just pick up classical music or go to a concert and immediately feel content with what you've listened to. Most of the time it requires having studied music or time and effort listening and learning to really enjoy it.

    Plus there is already a large portion of the population that doesn't like the "normal" classical musical. And now you're taking it a step further and requiring another level of "sophistication?" What pretentious tripe. I can understand your reasoning, but it's completely asinine and ruins my ideal of what music should be, aesthetically pleasing. Now we can get into a circular, pointless discussion on how something is aesthetically pleasant, but it's not going to change my mind that most of the stuff you've posted is nothing more than intellectual exercises. I listen to the music because it sounds good, and a lot of classical music sounds even better when you have a least a basic understanding of what's happening musically. But when you listen to something that doesn't/i] sound good but you can say "a-ha, that sure was clever what he did there," I don't find that at all appealing.

    So tl;dr: this is probably another case of "let's agree to disagree," since no one is probably going to change their opinion on this.

  • KhavallKhavall Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    I just mainly don't understand why you are the universal decider on what is aesthetically pleasing.



    Wait no, there's another thing I don't understand about your point: Why some time, effort, and training to listen to music is ok, but any more than what you have put in it pretentious tripe.

  • CheerfulBearCheerfulBear Registered User
    edited October 2009
    I guess I should have made myself clearer on how time, effort, and training help augment appreciation of classical music, but are not a prerequisite for enjoying it.

  • AsiinaAsiina Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Khavall wrote: »
    I just mainly don't understand why you are the universal decider on what is aesthetically pleasing.

    Wait no, there's another thing I don't understand about your point: Why some time, effort, and training to listen to music is ok, but any more than what you have put in it pretentious tripe.

    Did you read my post at all? The concept of something being aesthetically pleasing is not arbitrary. There are basic rules about some intervals being more pleasing than others. It exists, there's science! Whether a note "belongs" in a key is more arbitrary. And if parallel fifths make you scream then that's even more arbitrary (and requires a tonne of training to even know about).

    None of this is the point though. The point is that claiming that someone not liking something (not finding it aesthetically pleasing) just doesn't get it is ridiculous, pretentious bullshit.

    If you want to train yourself to think tritones are the bees-knees then go for it, but saying that someone who says it sounds terrible just doesn't get it is pretty insulting and shows you have a fundamental misunderstanding of how music is encoded in our brains. Which is why I list dissonant pieces in the "intellectual exercise" column rather than "aesthetically pleasing music".

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