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|RE: A question for Mayberry Pancakes and any other classical music lovers: |
Mayberry Pancakes 02/04/09, 19:25
|Brahms: Non-Karajan? Solti does a wonderful rendition of the 2nd. Neeme Järvi also has a very good recording of the complete symphonies.|
Prokofiev: Not my strong point, but Romeo and Juliet is a good way to introduce yourself with his non-piano works.
Rachmaninoff: In terms of symphonies, Symphony no. 2 is one of my Favorite Things. I have a recording by Mariss Jansons I like a lot.
Shostakovich: Now we're talking. For starters:
1) The Gadfly (film score)
2) The Bolt (ballet)
3) Lady Macbeth (opera)
4) Symphonies 1, 2, 5, 7, 13
5) Preludes and Fugues for piano --- try Tatiana Nikolayevna
These are all over the place, and should give you a good idea of the breadth and depth of Shostakovich's works. It saddens me that "The Bolt" is not performed more often; it's really fun musically and so listenable. I said it before but JAZZ SUITES. JAZZ SUITES, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD. One of the coolest little things I've ever heard. Shostakovich is at his best when he's writing for himself.
Berlioz! Beatrice et Benedict is bitchin'. The Damnation of Faust. He has a really great Te Deum...um, blanking here. The Roman Carnival is a great one.
Now let's talk Mussorgsky. People have mixed feelings about his songs and tend to focus on his orchestral works; rather, on other people's arrangements of his works. But I think there's a special brilliance in his music that I don't really recognize in other composers until around Shostakovich. Dunno, it's just me. To start:
- Night on Bald Mountain
- Boris Gudonov
- Pictures at an Exhibition (both the piano and Ravel's arrangement; "Bydlo" in particular is very different)
- Khovanshchina (there's a great DG recording of this).
- Songs songs songs songs songs. If you're in the mood for songs but lieder seems too boring, try Mussorgsky. This one is a must-have.
- I love Songs and Dances of Death. It's popular, but it's also fucking weird. I like the one with Mariss Jansons.
Some composer recommendations:
SAINT-SAËNS. Yes he was a poofy French guy. But he was so much more than a poofy French guy. His symphony no. 3 is nothing short of grand. He is one of the few composers I love in just every regard: operas, symphonies, concertos; they are all amazing.
MONTEVERDI. Monteverdi is maybe the most important composer ever. We owe him an enormous debt for music as we understand it today. In addition to the Books of Madrigals, you have to pick up L'Orfeo. And speaking of early music...
DESPREZ. Or Josquin. About a century or so prior to Monteverdi. He's not just writing madrigals and sex music. In Principio erat verbum, an arrangement of the first seventeen verses of John, is incredible. If you can listen to the way he arranges "but the world knew him not" without getting choked up then you are some kind of super-dick.
SARASATE Why is it so fucking hard to get a single CD of purely Sarasate? Fuck it. You'll have to pick things up off of various "Violin Works" CDs. Carmen Fantasy, Spanish Dances, Ziguerneweisen, Zapateado, Navarra, Homage to Rossini, etc etc etc.
RESPIGHI. Fuck a Pines of Rome. Belkis, Queen of Sheba is fucking metal as shit. La Boutique Fantasque, Ancient Airs and Dances, Feste Romane, Brazilian Impressions---the dude did so much more than Pines of Rome, and flying whales do not even do that one justice.
Oh and um Thomas Quasthoff singing Schubert is what life is all about.
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