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The Classical Music Thread

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    HamjuHamju Registered User regular
    edited August 2006
    Chopin > everthing else

    I still have not been convinced otherwise. I think I have a problem. I'm a little too obsessed w/ this man's works. Anyone know of a support group?
    Are you a pianist? I find it's mostly pianists who can truly appreciate his work. I really REALLY love a few of his things (like Raindrop), but I find a lot of his stuff just sounds very similar to me.

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    PodlyPodly you unzipped me! it's all coming back! i don't like it!Registered User regular
    edited August 2006
    nickolai wrote:
    Poldy wrote:

    How long have you been listening to Classical music?

    I have enjoyed listening to Classical since I was a child, but I haven't really gotten into seeking stuff out and listening to it seriously until a year or so ago. What I'm really into is film scores... John Williams, James Horner, John Barry, and the like. I've been trying to branch out, but there always seems to be some element of the more well known/widely respected composers that eludes me.

    Seriously, get your ass some Wagner. Stravinsky and he are the roots of film score.

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    the Togfatherthe Togfather Registered User regular
    edited August 2006
    Saria wrote:
    Edit:
    Chopin > everthing else

    I still have not been convinced otherwise. I think I have a problem. I'm a little too obsessed w/ this man's works. Anyone know of a support group?

    Forgot to mention I really love Chopin. I have a five cd set of his works played by Vladimir Ashkenazy, piano sonata's 1, 2 and 3 by Idil Biret, and a "favourite Chopin" cd played by Horowitz. Fantastic.

    And a current singer everyone should check out is Isabel Bayrakdarian. Fantastic Canadian Soprano.

    So the Ashkenazy playing Chopin is good? I found a 'complete works of Chopin played by Ashkenazy' box set (13 CDs!!!! Wheeee!) online and was thinking about dropping the hundred bucks on it. Everything I've heard/found says he's one of the most well-known and respected Chopin interpreters/performers.

    Also, since you seem knowledgable about voice performers (and I am not, though trying to give it a chance), I was curious if you'd heard of the soprano Christine Brewer? She's from the same little town I am and I keep seeing her name pop up in more and more random places, she seems prett world-renowned, just curious to hear from someone not local who might know about her...

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    the Togfatherthe Togfather Registered User regular
    edited August 2006
    Hamju wrote:
    Chopin > everthing else

    I still have not been convinced otherwise. I think I have a problem. I'm a little too obsessed w/ this man's works. Anyone know of a support group?
    Are you a pianist? I find it's mostly pianists who can truly appreciate his work. I really REALLY love a few of his things (like Raindrop), but I find a lot of his stuff just sounds very similar to me.

    The thing is, I'm not. The only instsuments I've played are trumpet and baritone. However, I sometimes think that I AM actually a pianist that just never took piano lessons, because it's not just Chopin's piano works that jump out at me, but of all the composers I've listened to, it's usually their piano works that end up being my favorites. Tchiakovsky's 1st Piano Concerto is OUTSTANDING. Beethoven has PLENTY of great piano works. Almost the only Mozart I like is piano. As soon as I stop finding all sorts of new Chopin to listen to, I plan on really listening to all the other recommended piano works I've read about here, Sibelius, Shostakovich, Rachmaninov, Liszt, Prokofiev, Schubert, etc...

    I really think I was meant to be a pianist. Damn shame too, since I grew up in a house w/ a piano and a mom who taught lessons, just never forced us kids to take 'em. Any chance for a 28 year old to learn passable piano at this point? :?

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    ElendilElendil Registered User regular
    edited August 2006
    Saria wrote:
    Like, I'm familiar with a lot of Beethoven's stuff, but not so much Scriabin's. So I can't join that debate, yet.

    Heh. I wasn't being entirely serious, though Scriabin definitely is one of my favorite composers. His early works are quite accessible, beautiful and romantic in the vein of Chopin (also like Chopin, he composed primarily for piano, though he wrote five symphonies and a piano concerto). His late works are very strange, founded on extremely odd philosophical beliefs. He was convinced of color associations with the music (he invented a "color organ" to be played with his last orchestral work that would project colored light). The late works are also highly advanced harmonically, bordering on atonal. It's interesting stuff, though it might put some people off. I love it though.

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    Fuzzy Cumulonimbus CloudFuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud Registered User regular
    edited August 2006
    Poldy wrote:
    nickolai wrote:
    Poldy wrote:

    How long have you been listening to Classical music?

    I have enjoyed listening to Classical since I was a child, but I haven't really gotten into seeking stuff out and listening to it seriously until a year or so ago. What I'm really into is film scores... John Williams, James Horner, John Barry, and the like. I've been trying to branch out, but there always seems to be some element of the more well known/widely respected composers that eludes me.

    Seriously, get your ass some Wagner. Stravinsky and he are the roots of film score.
    John Williams can fucking die in a fire.
    Wheres that side by side comparison of Stravinsky and John's crap?

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    SeptusSeptus Registered User regular
    edited August 2006
    I’m no pianist but seeing as how I think it’s the most beautiful instrument EVAR, I also love what little exposure I’ve had to Chopin. I only recently started seriously listening to classical music, and I’m really enjoying Rachmaninoff and Chopin, I can’t really get into the Liszt that I’ve heard though.

    On a side note, I heard just one fantastic piece of some composer on the radio, and I swear it was something like Carlos Chavez and I’ve not been able to find who it was since. Ring a bell?

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    nickolainickolai Registered User regular
    edited August 2006
    Hamju wrote:
    Chopin > everthing else

    I still have not been convinced otherwise. I think I have a problem. I'm a little too obsessed w/ this man's works. Anyone know of a support group?
    Are you a pianist? I find it's mostly pianists who can truly appreciate his work.

    Nocturne in E Minor = MMMMMMMM
    I heard that piece on a MIDI file and I knew that I had to learn it. And I did. And it was incredible.

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    the Togfatherthe Togfather Registered User regular
    edited August 2006
    Poldy wrote:
    Chopin > everthing else

    I still have not been convinced otherwise. I think I have a problem. I'm a little too obsessed w/ this man's works. Anyone know of a support group?

    Der Ring Des Nibelungen

    Wow. Just read the wiki page on that, and I say again, wow. I've never even heard of it...if anything's going to get me into opera, this would probably be it. Will have to check it out sometime...thanks!

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    HamjuHamju Registered User regular
    edited August 2006
    Poldy wrote:
    nickolai wrote:
    Poldy wrote:

    How long have you been listening to Classical music?

    I have enjoyed listening to Classical since I was a child, but I haven't really gotten into seeking stuff out and listening to it seriously until a year or so ago. What I'm really into is film scores... John Williams, James Horner, John Barry, and the like. I've been trying to branch out, but there always seems to be some element of the more well known/widely respected composers that eludes me.

    Seriously, get your ass some Wagner. Stravinsky and he are the roots of film score.
    And if you don't want to go back as far as Wagner, get Holst.

    Basically Wagner lead to Holst (see: Planets - Mars, the Bringer of War) which lead to Williams. Williams took a lot of his Star Wars stuff directly from Stravinsky and Holst.

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    HamjuHamju Registered User regular
    edited August 2006
    Any chance for a 28 year old to learn passable piano at this point? :?
    My fiancee (Saria... who finally entered this thread) actually teaches two adults piano. As far as I know, they're both older than 28 and also both doing quite well (for beginners). She can tell you more.

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    DogDog Registered User, Administrator, Vanilla Staff admin
    edited August 2006
    So the Ashkenazy playing Chopin is good? I found a 'complete works of Chopin played by Ashkenazy' box set (13 CDs!!!! Wheeee!) online and was thinking about dropping the hundred bucks on it. Everything I've heard/found says he's one of the most well-known and respected Chopin interpreters/performers.

    Also, since you seem knowledgable about voice performers (and I am not, though trying to give it a chance), I was curious if you'd heard of the soprano Christine Brewer?

    Ashkenazy is a fantastic interpreter of Chopin. His strengths are totally in the smoothness of technique and beautiful rubato that are necessary for Chopin. He doesn't have the intensity that is needed to be a great interpreter of Rachmaninoff, leave that to Horowitz. :)

    I feel like the name Christine Brewer is familiar, but I don't really know it. I'll talk to my voice prof. She knows everything about who's who out there right now in the voice world.
    Hamju wrote:
    Any chance for a 28 year old to learn passable piano at this point? :?
    My fiancee (Saria... who finally entered this thread) actually teaches two adults piano. As far as I know, they're both older than 28 and also both doing quite well (for beginners). She can tell you more.

    As Hamju said. It's completely possible for someone 28 or older to learn piano. I am teaching two beginner adults right now. One is 38 the other is 49. They're both making amazing progress. I am so impressed. If you really want to learn you should take some lessons. If you were in the area I'd say I would give you some lessons. :) You'll start off doing pretty beginner stuff, but I now have one of my students who's been taking lessons for like 7 months doing legitimate classical works. Really simple yet, but soon he could probably take on some more serious stuff if he wanted a challenge that would take a couple months to complete. I'd go for it if I were you. :) Piano is such a useful instrument to know how to play even a little. It's worth it.

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    the Togfatherthe Togfather Registered User regular
    edited August 2006
    Hamju wrote:
    Basically Wagner lead to Holst (see: Planets - Mars, the Bringer of War) which lead to Williams. Williams took a lot of his Star Wars stuff directly from Stravinsky and Holst.

    I've read this more than once already on this forum, and while I do agree, I see the similarity between a lot of William's Star Wars stuff and Mars (actually almost all of the Planets, I hear SW throughout, and some LOTR too I think), but I've recently found a much more glaringly obvious use of Mars in a film score. Go listen to 'The Battle' from Gladiator...I can't hear Mars without thinking of that opening battle sequence from the movie when that's playing...

    But yah, The Planets is all OVER the place in cinema...If I remember right, I think Independence Day's main theme was very Mars like too...

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    the Togfatherthe Togfather Registered User regular
    edited August 2006
    Saria wrote:
    I'd go for it if I were you. :) Piano is such a useful instrument to know how to play even a little. It's worth it.


    I just might have to do that, you've convinced me. I couldn't imagine being able to play even a simple Chopin piece...man that would be so sweet...

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    nickolainickolai Registered User regular
    edited August 2006
    John Williams can fucking die in a fire.
    Wheres that side by side comparison of Stravinsky and John's crap?

    Uhh, care to elaborate? I find his Jurassic Park, Hook, and The Terminal scores to be pretty excellent, personally. Star Wars may be a bit eclectic but it fits well with the film.

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    PodlyPodly you unzipped me! it's all coming back! i don't like it!Registered User regular
    edited August 2006
    nickolai wrote:
    John Williams can fucking die in a fire.
    Wheres that side by side comparison of Stravinsky and John's crap?

    Uhh, care to elaborate? I find his Jurassic Park, Hook, and The Terminal scores to be pretty excellent, personally. Star Wars may be a bit eclectic but it fits well with the film.

    No way, man. John Williams, especially in his non film score compositions, is pretty sub-par. There is no form whatsoever running through it. It's just a bunch of repeated warblings of a confused mockingbird.

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    nickolainickolai Registered User regular
    edited August 2006
    Define form. I really have no clue whatsoever where you're coming from on this one.

    EDIT: Can't believe I forgot Schindler's List. Add that to the above mini-list. Still don't know what you're talking about.

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    ElendilElendil Registered User regular
    edited August 2006
    Hamju wrote:
    Basically Wagner lead to Holst (see: Planets - Mars, the Bringer of War) which lead to Williams. Williams took a lot of his Star Wars stuff directly from Stravinsky and Holst.

    I've read this more than once already on this forum, and while I do agree, I see the similarity between a lot of William's Star Wars stuff and Mars (actually almost all of the Planets, I hear SW throughout, and some LOTR too I think), but I've recently found a much more glaringly obvious use of Mars in a film score. Go listen to 'The Battle' from Gladiator...I can't hear Mars without thinking of that opening battle sequence from the movie when that's playing...

    But yah, The Planets is all OVER the place in cinema...If I remember right, I think Independence Day's main theme was very Mars like too...

    I don't know the exact name of the piece, but whatever is playing during the secret level of Lego Star Wars is pretty blatantly borrowing from Mars.

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    PodlyPodly you unzipped me! it's all coming back! i don't like it!Registered User regular
    edited August 2006
    nickolai wrote:
    Define form. I really have no clue whatsoever where you're coming from on this one.

    EDIT: Can't believe I forgot Schindler's List. Add that to the above mini-list. Still don't know what you're talking about.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Musical_form

    When separated from their films - especially if one has not seen the film - then they struggle like a fish out of water. They sound like trite flourishes.

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    ElendilElendil Registered User regular
    edited August 2006
    Anyone play the cello?

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    PodlyPodly you unzipped me! it's all coming back! i don't like it!Registered User regular
    edited August 2006
    Elendil wrote:
    Anyone play the cello?

    Man, I wish.

    Doesn't Saggio play?

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    ElendilElendil Registered User regular
    edited August 2006
    Poldy wrote:
    Elendil wrote:
    Anyone play the cello?

    Man, I wish.

    Doesn't Saggio play?

    No, I thought he played the bassoon. I'm pretty sure someone in the thread does, though. I just can't remember who.

    I'm really getting interested in trying it out.

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    PodlyPodly you unzipped me! it's all coming back! i don't like it!Registered User regular
    edited August 2006
    Indigo concerto?

    I've heard that string instruments (or fretless ones) are the hardest instruments to pick up.

    If they weren't I would DEFINITELY try it out in college. Alas, I think I may be stuck to getting piano lessons.

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    ElendilElendil Registered User regular
    edited August 2006
    Poldy wrote:
    Indigo concerto?

    I've heard that string instruments (or fretless ones) are the hardest instruments to pick up.

    If they weren't I would DEFINITELY try it out in college. Alas, I think I may be stuck to getting piano lessons.

    Nothing wrong with piano. I like the two instruments pretty much equally; I slightly prefer the cello on a purely sound basis, but it's impossible to argue with a piano in terms of versatility and solo repertoire.

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    PodlyPodly you unzipped me! it's all coming back! i don't like it!Registered User regular
    edited August 2006
    Elendil wrote:
    Poldy wrote:
    Indigo concerto?

    I've heard that string instruments (or fretless ones) are the hardest instruments to pick up.

    If they weren't I would DEFINITELY try it out in college. Alas, I think I may be stuck to getting piano lessons.

    Nothing wrong with piano. I like the two instruments pretty much equally; I slightly prefer the cello on a purely sound basis, but it's impossible to argue with a piano in terms of versatility and solo repertoire.

    But I can be a very vain person when it comes to skill. I am very skilled at guitar, but I just don't like it that much anymore. Piano would be better, but I'd just be so far behind and be so jealous. At least with Cello, I wouldn't know many people better than me. :P

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    ElendilElendil Registered User regular
    edited August 2006
    Poldy wrote:
    Elendil wrote:
    Poldy wrote:
    Indigo concerto?

    I've heard that string instruments (or fretless ones) are the hardest instruments to pick up.

    If they weren't I would DEFINITELY try it out in college. Alas, I think I may be stuck to getting piano lessons.

    Nothing wrong with piano. I like the two instruments pretty much equally; I slightly prefer the cello on a purely sound basis, but it's impossible to argue with a piano in terms of versatility and solo repertoire.

    But I can be a very vain person when it comes to skill. I am very skilled at guitar, but I just don't like it that much anymore. Piano would be better, but I'd just be so far behind and be so jealous. At least with Cello, I wouldn't know many people better than me. :P

    That is a discouraging thing with piano. I cringe when I go to my piano lesson, hear someone playing a fairly difficult sounding piece and find that it is actually an eight year old. :oops:

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    PodlyPodly you unzipped me! it's all coming back! i don't like it!Registered User regular
    edited August 2006
    Elendil wrote:
    That is a discouraging thing with piano. I cringe when I go to my piano lesson, hear someone playing a fairly difficult sounding piece and find that it is actually an eight year old. :oops:

    I've always told my self I am going to make my children do three things:

    1) Do well in school
    2) Play an instrument
    3) Play a sport

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    NewtronNewtron Registered User regular
    edited August 2006
    Cello is probably my favorite of the string section, followed by the double bass. Does anyone know of any orchestra that features the cello and has a "powerful" sound? I'll cite the opening theme of ES: Oblivion as a good example.

    I've listened to Bach's Cello suites and found those to be in my taste as well. Beethoven also had a fairly decent Cello that accompanied his piano playing. However, I just don't like soft, "filler" (if thats the right term) cello. Like, I suppose, Brahm's use of Cello (as an example).

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    PodlyPodly you unzipped me! it's all coming back! i don't like it!Registered User regular
    edited August 2006
    Newtron wrote:
    Cello is probably my favorite of the string section, followed by the double bass. Does anyone know of any orchestra that features the cello and has a "powerful" sound? I'll cite the opening theme of ES: Oblivion as a good example.

    I've listened to Bach's Cello suites and found those to be in my taste as well. Beethoven also had a fairly decent Cello that accompanied his piano playing. However, I just don't like soft, "filler" (if thats the right term) cello. Like, I suppose, Brahm's use of Cello (as an example).

    Later Beethoven (post 8th symphony) is your answer

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    saggiosaggio Registered User regular
    edited August 2006
    Elendil wrote:
    Poldy wrote:
    Elendil wrote:
    Anyone play the cello?

    Man, I wish.

    Doesn't Saggio play?

    No, I thought he played the bassoon. I'm pretty sure someone in the thread does, though. I just can't remember who.

    I'm really getting interested in trying it out.

    Yeah, bassoon for me. I haven't played for a couple of months, though, since I had to return the instrument I was using, and I'm too poor to buy myself a nice new Fox or Puchner. Cool thing about bassoon is that it can also play most cello music, excluding some string specific things (such as stops or insane amounts of vibrato, for instance).

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    PlesioPlesio Registered User regular
    edited August 2006
    Whoever it was that brought up Classic Cat, thank you <3.

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    PodlyPodly you unzipped me! it's all coming back! i don't like it!Registered User regular
    edited August 2006
    Plesio wrote:
    Whoever it was that brought up Classic Cat, thank you <3.

    Classic Cat?

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    nickolainickolai Registered User regular
    edited August 2006
    Poldy wrote:
    nickolai wrote:
    Define form. I really have no clue whatsoever where you're coming from on this one.

    EDIT: Can't believe I forgot Schindler's List. Add that to the above mini-list. Still don't know what you're talking about.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Musical_form

    When separated from their films - especially if one has not seen the film - then they struggle like a fish out of water. They sound like trite flourishes.

    Not sure if there's really any point in arguing, since it's purely a matter of opinion, but his themes are some of the most memorable themes written in recent history. What would the world be like without the Star Wars fanfare? The Indiana Jones march? Jaws?!
    Wikipedia wrote:
    In a sectional form, the larger unit (form) is built from various smaller clear-cut units (sections) in combination, sort of like stacking legos (DeLone, 1975):

    * Strophic form (AA...)
    * Binary form (AB)
    * Ternary form, less often tertiary (ABA)
    * Arch form, (ABCBA)

    Sections include:

    * Introduction or Intro
    * Exposition
    * Verse
    * Chorus or refrain
    * Bridge, interlude, or breakdown
    * Conclusion
    * Coda or outro, and Fadeout

    Running through the first few themes of his that came to mind, I was able to follow this list of sections and pinpoint each within the piece. So most of his themes do have form, its the ambient/background/underscore part of his music that does not.

    His style of underscoring is kind of disjointed and doesn't completely adhere to a specific rhythmical structure, but I see that as a style rather than a fault. Composing to the beat of images on a screen rather than freeforming based on mental images in the composer's head requires some sacrifice in the area of solid form.

    I also find nothing trite about his music, but then again I'm not all that knowledgeable when it comes to classical music, and I haven't even heard any of his non-score material.

    But, like most other composers, he is prone to really suck once in awhile, and I recognize this. Thinking of "Saving Private Ryan", "Minority Report", and "War of the Worlds".

    And now I'm curious: which modern-day film composers do you value above Williams?

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    ElendilElendil Registered User regular
    edited August 2006
    God, I love the Schumann cello concerto.

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    PodlyPodly you unzipped me! it's all coming back! i don't like it!Registered User regular
    edited August 2006
    nickolai wrote:
    Not sure if there's really any point in arguing, since it's purely a matter of opinion, but his themes are some of the most memorable themes written in recent history. What would the world be like without the Star Wars fanfare? The Indiana Jones march? Jaws?!

    Yeah, and "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik" is the most popular classical song. Doesn't make it suck any less.

    Running through the first few themes of his that came to mind, I was able to follow this list of sections and pinpoint each within the piece. So most of his themes do have form, its the ambient/background/underscore part of his music that does not.

    His style of underscoring is kind of disjointed and doesn't completely adhere to a specific rhythmical structure, but I see that as a style rather than a fault. Composing to the beat of images on a screen rather than freeforming based on mental images in the composer's head requires some sacrifice in the area of solid form.

    From memory his songs are either AA or AB:BA. Nothing very memorably in terms of buildup, instrumentation, technique, counterpoint, lietmotif...

    Aside from having catchy melodies, they're rather boring.
    And now I'm curious: which modern-day film composers do you value above Williams?

    Couldn't tell you. I think that movies benefit more from published music in most cases. I mean, if it wasn't for his music selection, Quentin Tarintino's movies would be terrible.

    Plus, John Williams was the principle conductor of the Boston Pops.

    Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeewwwwwwwwwwww

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    NewtronNewtron Registered User regular
    edited August 2006
    Poldy wrote:
    Newtron wrote:
    Cello is probably my favorite of the string section, followed by the double bass. Does anyone know of any orchestra that features the cello and has a "powerful" sound? I'll cite the opening theme of ES: Oblivion as a good example.

    I've listened to Bach's Cello suites and found those to be in my taste as well. Beethoven also had a fairly decent Cello that accompanied his piano playing. However, I just don't like soft, "filler" (if thats the right term) cello. Like, I suppose, Brahm's use of Cello (as an example).

    Later Beethoven (post 8th symphony) is your answer

    Anything specific I should look out for?

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    PodlyPodly you unzipped me! it's all coming back! i don't like it!Registered User regular
    edited August 2006
    Newtron wrote:
    Poldy wrote:
    Newtron wrote:
    Cello is probably my favorite of the string section, followed by the double bass. Does anyone know of any orchestra that features the cello and has a "powerful" sound? I'll cite the opening theme of ES: Oblivion as a good example.

    I've listened to Bach's Cello suites and found those to be in my taste as well. Beethoven also had a fairly decent Cello that accompanied his piano playing. However, I just don't like soft, "filler" (if thats the right term) cello. Like, I suppose, Brahm's use of Cello (as an example).

    Later Beethoven (post 8th symphony) is your answer

    Anything specific I should look out for?

    Well, they tend to have a much darker sound. Beethoven tried lower tuning frequencies, and an emphasis on dark and brooding themes.

    Perhaps the 13th or 15 string quartets?

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    PlesioPlesio Registered User regular
    edited August 2006
    Poldy wrote:
    Plesio wrote:
    Whoever it was that brought up Classic Cat, thank you <3.

    Classic Cat?

    http://www.classiccat.net/

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    PodlyPodly you unzipped me! it's all coming back! i don't like it!Registered User regular
    edited August 2006
    Plesio wrote:
    Poldy wrote:
    Plesio wrote:
    Whoever it was that brought up Classic Cat, thank you <3.

    Classic Cat?

    http://www.classiccat.net/

    Oh, right! I had forgotten about that.

    I'm'a load up on some Bach.

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    nickolainickolai Registered User regular
    edited August 2006
    Poldy wrote:
    Yeah, and "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik" is the most popular classical song. Doesn't make it suck any less.

    :shock:
    Yeah, you're probably going to have to explain that one to me. I am a "beginner" at classical appreciation, but... I like that song. Not my favorite, but still. That's about all I can say about that.
    Poldy wrote:
    From memory his songs are either AA or AB:BA.
    What's a good example of a well-structured piece?
    Poldy wrote:
    I mean, if it wasn't for his music selection, Quentin Tarintino's movies would be terrible.

    GO ENNIO MORRICONE! And what are you talking about? Over half of each of his movies (the Kill Bills excepted) has no background music. I'd think they would be terrible anyways, if that's how you felt about them. Which.. I don't. But that's off topic.

    Pertinent question: To anybody who has seen A Clockwork Orange, what is that Beethoven piece called that plays during the gangfight near the beginning? I've searched all over the internet but can't find a clue as to what its name is. The one with pizzicato/bouncy strings and clarinet/flute, if that's... helpful at all. :?

    nickolai on
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