'C L A S S I C A L'

Using ‘classical’ in quotes since strictly speaking it refers to a distinct period in Europe but we’ve basically come to use it for any sort of post-renaissance chamber/orchestral music in the western canon. Let’s use this thread for literally anything to do with classical music. I’ll begin by listing stuff I’ve been listening to -

Kinda stumbled over these concertos by a Swiss Italian-wannabe, and as much as this sort of extremely well-behaved music tends to bore me there’s quite a lot of little quirks here that make the pieces fun to listen to (enjoyment prob dependent on your exposure to similar material), and a nice release from the usual baroque repertoire

Everything by Rautavaara I’ve heard makes me wonder how much of his approach was parodic and how much was about pushing the format beyond its usual borderlines (not necessarily mutually exclusive). This symphony has a far-sighted grandiosity and an ominpresent quivering anxiety that all of it might at any moment collapse into itself

This is in fact very early electronic music (read about the ondes Martenot, an instrument invented in 1928 by Maurice Martenot, here), and it also happens to be exquisitely beautiful

Everything I’ve heard by Bridge is just lovely but I hardly ever see him mentioned. Maybe we need to wait another twenty or fifty years for his ooeeuhvre to become chic. This piece and the comparable nocturne movement in his 1909/'10 Suite for string orchestra are gorgeous, sensitive works that give you the sense that you are coming upon a dimly illuminated intimate world full of quiet possibilities and strange sorrows

Found in my never-ending quest to discover what among the compositions written for pipe organ are worth listening to, and this is definitely worth listening to. The melodic inventiveness, secured by motifs that can be taken playfully or seriously, and the chromatic directions harmonies are led are inexhaustible, lush


So do I just make this my PDQ Bach fanthread or

(Sorry to shit up your nice thread on reply #1 diplo)


I am an absolute pop-classical rube. I definitely don’t do what diplo does, which is drill down and explore and try to find obscure pieces to suit my tastes, because I’m a natural dilettante and research bores me. This is especially shameful because both my parents listen to classical like 75% of the time and I really should have absorbed more, and I didn’t, except ambiently (there are many classical pieces where I go, “oh yeah this one” but otherwise have no idea what it is/who wrote it).

That being said, here are some of my favorites.

The entire St Matthew Passion is incredible, but this here is the crowning achievement, especially in this specific performance. I also post this video in like every music thread so you’ve probably seen it by now.

The piece is Peter mourning his denial of Jesus, and contrasts usefully, in its sincere and repentant grief, with Judas’ Suicide, in which Judas demands the return of “his Jesus,” and learns nothing of his betrayal despite his own protestations.

Generally though I don’t have a thorough enough knowledge of classical and especially the recorded classical repertoire to do things like recommend specific performances so this is the end of that!

Ghibli Music, In Its Ideal Form

The title translates most directly as “The Engulfed Cathedral.” I defy anyone to identify a more apt mental image.

OK I lied about multiple/ideal performances. Chopin’s so-called “Raindrop Prelude” (a later-added title that I do not like) is like peak pop-classical, everyone knows this piece and I think they used it in a Halo commercial once. It is almost impossible to find this piece played at the “perfect” tempo. The Grimaud version is about as lugubrious as you can get without getting corny, and the Argerich version is one of the fastest, slightly too fast if you ask me, but I prefer its overall phrasing and dynamics. Make your choice! (Ultimately I like Argerich best.)

While the piece is known for its dramatic climaxes, it’s actually the last 45 seconds or so that seal the deal for me. That wistful ending after coming down from the climaxes can literally bring me to tears. And I just like endings in general. “Best endings to songs” could be a real fruitful thread maybe.

I couldn’t pick a Poulenc so I just picked a Poulenc. I like a cappella pieces so here you go. Poulenc is one of those weirdo modernists so watch out! This ain’t your grandpa’s motet.

This is pure modern choral music, the kind of stuff chorus teachers buy high school students to sing. (That’s where I sang it.) It’s basically the apex of the form. Those harmonies dude! Ends on a 9th chord - listen for that tenor note, it shimmers. This gets sung at funerals a lot (I sung it at a funeral). Not a dry eye in the house.


Kind of a cop out to post whole symphonies but I couldn’t resist. Listen to how GERMAN this shit is. (OK, Austrian.) Peak of the form if you ask me, superior to the earlier Wagner and the later Schoenberg etc. But what do I know, I’m a pleb.

And going all the way back to musical prehistory (OK not really), a shimmering example of polyphony, the composition scheme of the Renaissance. I don’t think I’ve ever seen it performed by a quartet, this is a sick example of breath support. This video rules.

OK FINE here is PDQ Bach. Obviously listen to the real 1812 Overture if you’re not familiar. This is so jam-packed with hilarious jokes I don’t know where to begin. ATTN DIPLO massively indulgent and unnecessary organ solo!

OK that’s it for now??


PDQ Bach is necessary listening if you think comedy in music is consigned to lyrical parodies.

I’ve returned to this piece and its first movement in particular many times and am always flabbergasted by how explosively it exhibits Hindemith’s incredible skill and talent for writing deeply dissonant yet beautiful, beautiful pieces that blend humor and horror. This is music that is as entertaining as it is awesome. When he’s at his best, I think that Hindemith may be the most fascinating European composer working in a classical idiom since J. S. Bach.

Speaking of Bach – great performance, great recording venue, perfect-sounding instruments. I’ve toyed around with doing a percussive and less polyphonic reinterpretation of this piece’s vivace movement and it helped me see how vigorously chromatic Bach’s melodic language is even when the forms have a fluid lyricism to them as they do here. It’s just one part of what makes his music so exciting, that constant deviance that gives pieces like this their tart bite.

Another Hindemith piece I love. The first few measures are an encapsulation of the sonata’s character, as you’re drawn in by a faint prettiness that within seconds transforms into something odd and vaguely threatening, underlined by blunt shadows – a fusion of classical and modernist sensibilities. The last movement, played by Gould, is how I was introduced to Hindemith, although he didn’t register as a composer to pay attention to until I heard this performed live.

Just watch.

[quote=“Father.Torque, post:4, topic:2705”]
“Best endings to songs” could be a real fruitful thread maybe[/quote]

dude please, endings are hard and I could use the inspiration

It’ll probably get more responses than this ever would



zappa should also be on this list. very specific zappa, but isn’t it all?

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:violin: :violin: :violin:

i guess i’ll be ’ that guy ’

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Mozart works for me best in his “lite” stuff, as something to put on the morning, and this stuff is best heard with period instruments, especially the piano, whose sound adds a vital touch of astringency. Really, as much as I’m for performing classical music on any and everything, I think the worst posthumous thing we did to Mozart’s music was putting very nearly all of it on modern pianos.

Rare moment of lucidity by a YT commenter who says “It is hard to put this music to any idea other then a struggle of some type.” It is also a struggle to listen to all the way through, more due to some boringly Virtuosic rather than discomfiting stretches, but it is worth listening to at least once for its stunning moments (e.g., skip to the two-minute mark to hear some unworldly accompaniment).

Maxim Vengerov’s masterclass on Mozart’s Violin Concerto No.3 at the Royal Academy of Music. In this masterclass, Vengerov teaches the student how to focus on the lyricism of the violin and use this to emulate Mozart’s operatic writing.

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i only know ab this song because of murakami
so i was poking fun at myself for being a hipster weeb trashlord

either way, i’m glad this thread is here. i’m really into strings.

i used to have this hand-me-down violin that i got from

some hippie dude while i was out west.

there was loose tobacco in the case to keep the bugs away.

( he was homeless or just liked sleeping outside )

i remember putting too much rosin on the bow and stirring up

murderous intent in my neighbors by playing horribly in the wee hours of the morning.

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Maybe? I’ve only heard a very small selection of his stuff.

i was rhetorically joking about how you can scarcely generalize about zappa since his oeuvre covers so many disparate styles and approaches; that and a lot of his music has lyrics and would thus be exempt

How dare you learn about music through other media

You need to enlarge the video to read the subtitles. The preparation here and the imaginative, specific performative directions given by Kleiber are much more fun than the piece being rehearsed itself and the real reason to watch the video through to the end. Worth checking out even if you, like me, don’t care much for Strauss II’s stuff.

Damn. Does anyone else here ever listen to this kinda stuff?!

From a pop culture perspective, the problem with “classical” music is it’s all too long. I tried to mostly pick short things in my post.

I listen to a decent amount of pipe organ stuff but mostly as background. I couldn’t name a work that I like any more than any other : /

Well, maybe I’ll try posting movements rather than entire works more often, although I was interested to see what input or recommendations other people had. Long-form stuff works for me because when I’m not working at my job I’m often drawing, and when I draw I draw for hours straight.

i just don’t listen to any longform shit at all, by anyone, anymore. i don’t listen to albums anymore. if i do it’s only when i’m driving and i can find a full album on youtube or something. losing hundreds of gigabytes of music carefully collected over 7 years has really killed my interest in engaging with any kind of longform work at all. it’s actually incredibly depressing.

i even tried to put on a gas album recently and i couldn’t even listen to the whole thing. i got depressed and cried and then turned it off and went to sleep.

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