Classical music

All right, this isn’t going to be a popular thread. What types of classical music do you like? By which composer? Which genre? Any particular pieces? Etc.

ok, my favourite classical piece of music would probably be Beethoven’s Symphony 6 (Pastoral) … I’ve always really been into Bach, Beethoven, Wagner, Saint-Saens, Holst, Haydn, Mozart and R-K. I’d write more, but my head already went to bed. I’m mostly into the Romantic (~1825-1900) period.

Why wouldn’t this be a popular thread? Lots of classical music fans here.

Past threads:
[li]What is the best piece of music ever?[/li][li]Smokingest Version of Beethoven’s Ninth?[/li][li]Classical music that rocks.[/li][li]Classical music - differences between orchestras?[/li][li]Doper Music - expans my horizons[/li][/ul]
And so on…

To answer your question, I mostly listen to Romantic and early 20th-century composers. To name a few, Rimsky-Korsakov, Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich, and Prokofiev; Europeans such as Wagner, Dvorak, Smetana, Sibelius, Nielsen; but my personal favorite is Richard Strauss. Definitely an acquired taste.
I balance it with a healthy obsession with J.S. Bach, especially any of the works for solo instrument like keyboard, violin, or cello. They’re seemingly simple, yet there is complexity hidden underneath to be discovered.

Canon in D by Pachelbel (sometimes spelled Kanon) is great. It shall be played at my funeral.

I have a fondness for the Baroque. Bach in particular, and the Brandenburg Concerti are my favorites (especially 2 and 5).

Classical, Beethoven, the Emperor Concerto.

Among the Romantics, Strauss Jr. and Chopin.

Favorite composer: Brahms, no question about it.

Favorite pieces (besided Brahms):

  • Allegretto of Beethoven’s 7th Symphony
  • Bruckner’s 7th Symphony
  • Mahler’s 6th Symphony
  • Stabat Mater of Pergolesi
  • Mozart, Symphonie Concertante
  • Borodin, 2nd string quartet, nocturne
  • Prokovjev, Romeo and Juliet
  • Prokovjev, slow movement of 2nd violin concerto
  • Shostakowitz, slow movements of violin concerto and of 1st piano concerto
  • Ravel, slow movement of piano concerto
  • Marcello, Oboe concerto in D minor
    … (and so on, und so weiter)

If you’ve never heard it, I must really urge you to give Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater a try, in particular the first movement. In its genre (Baroque religious music) it is one of the most beautiful pieces of music ever composed. Even if you don’t like this kind of music, you may still be impressed. In fact I’ve hesitated to put it in this list. To me it is like a hidden bit of beauty, to which I can introduce people dear to me, and I’d hate to have it spoiled by some *** PR agency putting it in a commercial for soap or so.

Even though I like Pachelbel’s canon, I’ve never really understood why it should be runner-up for ‘best’ piece of music ever.

As a classically trained singer, I have to say my favorite musical piece (actually movement of a piece) of all time is still “Er, Der Herrlischte von Allen,” from Robert Schumann’s Frauen Lieben und Leben song-cycle.

It was one of the reasons I’ve kept my falsetto voice intact. :wink:

Vivaldi - Opus 8 - Four Seasons - Spring I, Summer III, Winter I,II,III and Autumn I,III (Marriner & Biondi performances)

Bach - Brandenburg - 2nd III and 3rd I, Tocatta and Fugue in d, Badinerie, Magnificat, Jesu, Joy… , Ste 3 - Air, few more but I don’t recall names.

Mozart - the usual (Clarinet Concerto, Eine Kleine, Piano 21 III, Sym 25, 40, 41, Alla Turca, Figaro) some more here too.

Beethoven - Moonlight, Pathetique, Sym 5,6,9, Fur Elise…

Tchaikovsky - Swan Lake, Nutcracker, another amazing piece (probably Piano 2 if there’s one)

Individual Works : Pachelbel’s Canon, Dvorak’s 9th (amazing!), Strauss’s Blue Danube, Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries, Puccini’s Nessum Dorma (from opera Turandot), Delibes’ flower duet from Lakme, Greensleeves, Petzold’s Minuet, Rachimaninov’s Rhapsody.
Schumann’s Traumerei from Childhood Dreams.

Lots more, about tired of typing.

tracer, what do you think of Richard Strauss’s Vier letzte Lieder? ‘Beim Schlafengehen’ (When going to sleep) is so beautiful and melancholic it breaks my heart to hear it, figuratively speaking of course.

Oh yeah, Brandenburg #5, movement 1 has gotta be one of my favourites ever too. One of the more amazing experiences I had in getting my minor of music was the history of baroque music classes, when we were talking about the Brandenburgs, and the professor mentioned that the harpsichord solo in the middle of this was one of the most difficult keyboard pieces of music to play…and then proceeded to sit down and play the entire thing by memory, perfectly, while lecturing to the class at the same time.

Favorite piece: “Pavanne for a Dead Princess” by Maurice Ravel

Favorite composers: Dmitri Shostakovich, Johann Sebastian Bach, Richard Strauss, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven

No matter what the backstory is to the six Brandenburg concerti I have always viewed them in this way:
Bach decides to show everybody that, without qualification, his mastery of music and musical instruments is unimpeachable.

Nah. He did that with Musikalisches Opfer, when he threw in a SIX-PART fugue, just for the sheer hell of it.

Vivaldi’s Winter

Beethoven’s 9th

Bach - Watchet Auf (sleepers awake) and Sheep May Safely Graze

I couldn’t live without them

Scratch that. Frederick the Great ASKED Old Bach to compose a six-parter, just to see whether he could.

In addition to working out a theme given to him by the King as a grand six-part keyboard fugue (a real fingerbuster if you only have the standard ten fingers), he then composed an opening 3-part ricercar, a Trio Sonata featuring the flute (Fred’s own instrument), and four canons all based on the theme. He then added a further self-contained set of “6 Canones Diversi Super Thema Regium.”

Favorite composor: Beethoven. His 9th is the greatest symphony.

Other favorites include Bach (especially the Brandenbergs), Dvorak, and Rossini.

Favorite piece right now is Dvorak’s Quintet for Piano, Two Violins, Viola, and Cello (op. 81). I heard Itzhak Perlman play it last summer and fell in love with it.

I love Darius Milhaud’s “Le Boeuf sur la Toit.”

Not bad Uke but I just need to correct some things there. King Freddy actually asked old Bach to improvise those fugues right there on the spur of the moment. The 3 voice one he did to the complete astonishment of all present. But even Bach knew his limits and could not improvise a 6 voiced fugue based on the King’s “royal” subject (i.e. the theme given to him). He did improvise a 6 voiced fugue on another subject, but we will never really know how that one went.

He took the theme home with him, wrote down the improvised 3 voiced fugue (which he termed a ricecar, which is an early predecessor to the fugue) to the best of his memory, and composed the 6-voiced one as well as the other pieces you mentioned.

Incidentally, if anyone’s interested, here is an explanation with the actual music of each of the 10 canons of Bach’s Musical Offering:

You can download midi files of them (and the rest of the musical offering) here:

Note that canons 1 - 5 on the first page correspond to 3a - 3e of the MIDI files.

Take note of the upside down clefs (and key signatures) and when they are at the very end of the music and facing backwards. This is Bach’s actual notation.

The 6 voice fugue is called the ricecar a 6.

I learned about classical music first from my Dad, who is a music critic with a real zest for the Baroque, and then from watching figure skating on TV. Many of what have become my favorite pieces were used by the great skaters of the last 30+ years. Later I worked a retail job alone for 2 years and listened to NPR all day, which taught me a lot. I’m still learning. I’ll never hear all the classical music I want to. Not enough time.

Some personal favorites: (some cited earlier by others)
Allegretto from Beethoven’s 7th Symphony (my funeral music)
Pavane for a Dead Princess, Ravel
2nd and 3rd Piano Concertos, Rachmaninov
Lieutenant Kije Suite, Romeo & Juliet (Dance of the Knights); Prokofiev
1st and 4th Symphonies, Brahms
The Planets, Holst
Masquerade Waltz, Kachiturian (sp)
8th and 9th (…New World) symphonies, Dvorak
Almost all Bach, Mozart, Beethoven and Tchaikovsky. Not very unusual or special, but it’s what I love.

A little hijack here- I recently heard Rossini’s William Tell Overture,transcription by Franz Liszt, played on a solo piano. It was great. Does anyone know of anyone that has made a recording of this piece on a piano and where I can find it? I heard it at a live perfomance and the person doing it has not recorded it.