Classical music listeners

I love the music of Schoenberg, Berg, Varèse, Boulez, among many others. It is beautiful and moving. Have I been in any way snobbish to any of you in this thread?

You have my blessing to love whatever music moves you, but please accord me the same respect.

this seems like vitriol rather than argument. As far as I can tell, the people who listen to the likes of Penderecki, Ferrari and Xenakis don’t waste much energy in actively disdaining more popular “classical” music. They’re too busy, y’know, actually listening. (On the other hand, aggrieved snarlings about “snobbery” are a dime a dozen.)

You have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about.

The fact is, A LOT of people do like it. You don’t like it, so you wish you could vilainize it and wish it away. Sorry, not happening. Get over yourself and realize your taste is not universal.

I like Howard Hanson, he was a friend of my Dad’s so I grew up listening to his stuff, and we had seats at the Rochester Philharmonic for years.

Here is a sample of his piece 2 op 30 “Romantic”

Pretty trite, it follows all the classical themes and styles, but it is easy to listen to background wise.

Ottorino Resphigi did Pines, Festivals and Fountains of Rome, which is also very listentoable.

Greig is just a smidge earlier than 100 years, but Anitras dance and Hall of the Mountain King are very notable. Apocalyptica has a version of Mountain King I adore!

I was listening to **Tabula Rasa**by Arvo Part (Amazon link), a truly brilliant, ethereal piece. My then 7-year-old son walked it, took in the music for a bit and said “it sounds like Queen Amidala is entering the Senate chamber”

I guess my point is that “classical” music can reach any body on whatever level works for them. And also that a modern classical composer is producing works that easily appeal to a young child…so its not all inaccessible modernism.

I also play **Music for 18 Musicians **by **Steve Reich **a bit on Sunday mornings. Incredibly cool.

Not all modern music is inaccessible, even ignoring film music. John Adams (one of the best living composers IMHO) writes very accessible stuff. James Macmillan likewise eschews atonality without succumbing to oversimplicity. The minimalists that are well-known are perfectly good (although personally I think Gorecki is a hack), and there are others if you make the effort to seek them out.

And of course, as has already been mentioned, Bach, Beethoven etc have had a few centuries for audiences to gain better appreciation of their skill. In the last few decades of his life J.S. Bach’s music was seen as hopelessly old-fashioned and stodgy, and the man himself as a talented organist but a damp squib of a composer who had been eclipsed by his sons. What people wanted was the new style as demonstrated by Hasse and Graun, both of whom were immensely successful in their own day and both of whom are rarely if ever performed now.

So if you want to know who the great composers of the modern age are, wait a hundred or so years and ask again.

The few I remember are:

Apart from the for mentioned…

Yanni - Live at the Acropolis
Paul Mauriate - Love is Blue
Mason Williams - Classical Gas
And to some extent Yngwie Malmsteen minus the Vocals.

I write classical all the time, but its boring to people who don’t wanna hear it.

Classical as in Piano, Acoustic Guitar, Strings, Horns and the odd Oboe, Flute or Harpsichord ect., as an ensemble.

No mater the intent, it all comes out like a damn Movie theme. :frowning:

Zoltan Kodaly, Richard Strauss (The German, not the Viennese), Korngold, Lenny Bernstein, Kabalevsky, Goffredo Petrassi, Ligeti, Francis Poulenc, Thierry Machuel, Hayden Wayne - an’ me. I think I am still alive, so I must qualify.

I;m a choirmaster and I write original choral music, so it has to be such as speaks to choirs and their audiences. I do, however, arrange for voices pieces from ‘heavier’, symphonic works, mainly for my personal satisfaction, but some choirs have taken them up even though they tend to be tougher to master.

It is my experience that if, as choirmaster, I explain the music and what its composer is trying to achieve, they will come around, and eventually take to heart all the music I present, however ‘inaccessible’ it may seem to start with.

I think the supposed snobbery of recent classical composers has been over exaggerated by the media. For shock value, of course, what else? For example, take Milton Babbitt’s essay for High Fidelity that he originally titled “The Composer as Specialist.” The magazine apparently changed the title without his knowledge to the confrontational “Who Cares if You Listen?” Whatever his argument in the essay, this title automatically puts him in a bad light with the listening public before they even read the thing – much less listen to his music. So the wall to the ivory tower has been reinforced from both sides.

You are not the only one to feel that strongly about George Gershwin.

Absolutely pointless link to George Gershwin painting a portrait of Arnold Schoenberg.

Page 476 from Style and Idea where Schoenberg discusses George Gershwin. I particularly liked the line about

Nadia Boulanger, who taught composition in Paris, also had every opportunity to ruin Gershwin as a composer. She turned him down as a student saying ‘he was fine the way he was’. From this site.

I also found this gem of a quotation further down that page -

The point I’m trying to make is that George Gershwin certainly was respected by ‘serious’ composers during his lifetime. An interesting side point is that he was well respected by people whose style of composition was radically different from his, and they (Schoenberg, Boulanger, Ravel among many others) actually discouraged him from changing his style.

Once again, I have to run and leave it there.

Well dudes, if we’re going back to the earlier half of the 20th century, this would’ve been a way easier question to answer! :slight_smile:

FWIW when I worked at the New York Philharmonic (fifteen years ago now, yipe) I remember a night of Bernard Herrmann music that was very popular. Any Bernstein-featured concert was sold out. (In fairness, he had died relatively recently so the sentimental value sent his popularity through the roof.) Unfortunately, when I later moved to Carnegie Hall, our contemporary composer series were always much harder sells to corporate/foundation sponsors and also of less interest to audiences. But they definitey had plenty of fans even if not quite as easy sells as the older classics.