Anyone else enjoy listening to classical music?

I’ve always enjoyed classical music, but I’m not very versed in who the composers are, or the names of the movements. I’m not even sure if I said that right. I cannot generally tell what instruments are being played beyond strings, woodwinds, etc.

But I absolutely love listening to a wide variety of classical music. Don’t really enjoy opera that much though. Probably because I don’t understand any of the singing.

I think the thing I find so intriguing about classical music is that you can build imaginary scenes in your head as you listen. This might give away how big of a dork I really am, but I really love two visual interpretations. First is Fantasia’s interpretation with Micky Mouse and the Sorcerer’s Apprentice. Second is Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd and the Barber of Seville.

Would love to talk about it with whoever out here in SDMB land also enjoys classical music.

I’m moving this to Cafe Society.

Nah…none of us here at The Straight Dope go for that egghead stuff.

Okay, seriously…you should probably pick up a copy of something like The Idiot’s Guide to Classical Music (no offense meant) just to learn some basic information about sonata form vs. tone poem…how to tell a clarinet from a clavichord…the difference between J.S. Bach and Arnold Schoenberg. The thing about Art Music* is the more you know, the more you appreciate.

  • There have been spirited discussions here over just what the hell to CALL the music. “Classical” should only apply to the era from about 1770 up to Beethoven’s Third Symphony.

Sure. I listen to it often.

I got most of my classical education from Bugs Bunny, anyway. Carl Stalling knew how to pick classical pieces. It was better than the various classical concerts I attended as a kid.

I have my favorites – Beethoven’s symphonies 3, 5, 7, and 9; Dvorak’s Piano Quintet #2; Rossini; The Brandenburg Concertos; and many more.

Classical was my first love, and although I’ve become fond of other genres I’ve never turned my back on it.

It’s kind of like “cow”, which is a term that refers to all the bovines, including heifers, bulls, and, umm, cows. Not an ideal nomenclatural situation but it’s pretty entrenched. Vivaldi’s music will be found in the “Classical” section of the music store (which may or may not have a subsection marked off for “Baroque”).

I might actually do that. I think you’re right. I could appreciate it more. I did take a music listening course in college thinking it would be an easy A. While I passed, it wasn’t easy at all. Sometime I regret not having been raised with a bit more musical teaching. I learned how to play the recorder, but that was the extent of my musical prowess and I wasn’t very good.

see? you do* too* like Opera

I think some of my favorites are Vivaldi’s Four Seasons; Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 14 and Bagatelle No. 25; Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings; and Chopin’s Nocture No. 2.

I also really enjoy a local station here that plays a much wider variety than I am familiar with. Most of it is pretty good, but there are some that just sound awful and isn’t pleasing at all. Not sure why, but some of the songs just hit me that way.

I think my liking of it comes more from the antics of Bugs and Elmer set to the music than the opera itself. I guess I can understand how people can appreciate operas, but I just have a hard time truly enjoying something where I don’t understand what is being said.

But you’re right, I do like that one!

I like J.S. Bach, Vivaldi, Gershwin, and Aaron Copland. My favorite piece is “Sheep May Safely Graze”, preferably as a solo piano piece.

I thought it was called long-hair music. At least Unca Cecil called it that.

What’s opera, doc?

We’ve had lots of threads over the years discussing classical music. Do a search if you’re interested; but here’s one to get you started:

getting into Classical music, need some help!

I’ve listened to classical music most of my life.

No mention of Handel yet?

Some easy listening:

The Water Music
Imagine King George I floating down the Thames on a barge with his court on a bright summer’s day, along with a 50 piece orchestra on an accompanying barge playing this music:

Music for the Royal Fireworks (with fireworks in this video)

Where’er you walk

And, of course Handel’s Messiah!

That is a really good thread with lots of really good information. I think I’ve found a new hobby. I’ve always had those questions, but never had enough patience or drive to actually dive into finding the answers. Thanks for the advice!

I do. I find instrumental music very relaxing.

No one’s mentioned it but I found Mozart to be pretty much the gateway drug to Classical closely followed by Beethoven. I’m also fond of Strauss’ works which will always remind me of my mother; she greatly enjoyed Tales from the Vienna Woods. I’m currently on a bit of a Janecek kick as well after reading 1Q84.

Classical is very tetchy to me: the slightest off thing can put me off of a piece such as when Michael Tilson Thomas transforms a piece into too much of an upper-middle-class parfait (except when it’s appropriate such as Beethoven’s 6th), or when a friend of my brother’s then-bride plays harp at their wedding but tunes in equal temperament and so sounds definitively non-Baroque. Why yes, I am a fan of Toscanini’s “yes, I have an entire orchestra at my command but I’m going to just straightforwardly pound out what’s on the paper” approach because it gets back to the basics of what made the piece good.

I started enjoying this music by playing in the middle school and high school orchestras. In fact, I don’t really remember much other music from those years.

If you’re turned off by opera because of the language problem, you might want to check out the Metropolitan Opera Live in HD. They all have subtitles. “La Bohème” is a good one to start with.

OMG, yes! Vivaldi and Telemann are my two most favorite composers of all time, ever, hooray and yum!

Here is my absolute favorite piece of music! (Vivaldi’s concerto for diverse instruments.) I love the way it opens with double-struck notes – sort of AA CC GG AA – if you see whut I mean. I’ve always loved doubled notes like that as a motif.

The Baroque and the Renaissance are my true loves. Also pasta.

Listening to a 3.5 hour opera is only for the hard-core. But select arias are the most beautiful music in the world.

Listen to this to to at least the 2:20 minute mark: “Dvorak’s Rusalka: Song To The Moon”