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Old 09-06-2005   #1
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Classical Music

I am a passionate listener to so-called 'classical' music, although i know nothing about it *technically*. I find it the best accompnaiment and imagination-stirrer, and I'm sure people who read Ligoti - even if they haven't tried it - will love this style of music. My favourite is the more dincopated (my word) modern 'classical' music. But I love all sorts like Schubert, Beethoven, Brahms, Mahler.... particularly modern 'chamber music'. This music is a greater passion to me than writing/reading!!!

The new Thomas Ades Violin Concerto can be heard tonight as part of the BBC Proms season, played by Anthony Marwood. This will be suited to readers of Ligotti and members of this site, I feel, judging by his other work, eg ASYLA (which is the plural of Asylum!). On BBC4 TV as well as BBC Radio 3.

Did anyone see/hear last night's Proms. A rare performance of Alan Rawsthorne's Piano Concerto No 2 was marvellous. I've always enjoyed
Rawsthorne and have many CDs of his music. But the pundits last night didn't seem to know much about his music!

And also there was the most bizarre mix up/cock up on BBC4 TV at the beginning of their broadcast last night. The Stuff of Dreams!

In short, what's your favourite 'classical' music??
des

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Old 09-06-2005   #2
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Re: Classical Music

I studied classical music at University as well as opera though I find more appreciation in the subtle quavering dissonance and dark ambience of Coil, Raison d'être, Nurse With Wound, Sophia, Inade, Les Joyaux de la Princesse, and other modern acts who take a neo-classicist approach into new forms, but without doubt a classical artist I absolutely love would have to be the Estonian, Arvo Pärt. His spirituality is puissant and dark, from his symphonies to choir. Benjamin Britten also has a place in this heart, the Opera, Peter Grimes I spent 3 months studying and it is an exhaustive and disturbing journey accompanied by the dirge of the ocean ever pulling one deeper.
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Old 09-06-2005   #3
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Re: Classical Music

des,
My "classical" experience and knowledge is limited. I remember being moved by Holst's The Planets. Someone once turned me on to some Mozart. I think I caught a hint of a prodigy, but it was only one vinyl album (with two sides), alas. The Magic Flute, I think.

I'm an A-Z music lover (in more ways than one). Leroy Anderson ("The Syncopated Clock") to Frank Zappa. Favorite letters in between include XTC, Pixies, Rolling Stones, Hendrix, Bowie, Eno, Miles Davis, Pink Floyd, MC5, Stooges, Groundhogs, and so many different and diverse others.
Phil

"What does it mean to be alive except to court disaster and suffering at every moment?"

Tibet: Carnivals?
Ligotti: Ceremonies for initiating children into the cult of the sinister.
Tibet: Gas stations?
Ligotti: Nothing to say about gas stations as such, although I've always responded to the smell of gasoline as if it were a kind of perfume.
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Old 09-07-2005   #4
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Re: Classical Music

I could name a lot of composer I madly love, but I'll try to stick to the essential...

Alban Berg (Wozzek must be my favourite opera, I can listen to it again and again, and his string quartet "In the Memory of an Angel" is truly heartbreaking at times)

Belà Bartòk is just great (Music for Strings Percussion and Celesta (you know it from Kubrick's The Shining), and his short opera Bluebeard's Castle especially)

I also love Benjamin Britten (Peter Grimes of course, but also Owen Wingrave, and The Turn of the Screw!!)

Gyorgy Ligetti is top (too bad Sony stopped their "Ligotti Edition" after only 7 discs... probably not selling enough...)

And to continue the namedropping:
Mahler (Der Kinderstötenlieder makes me cry each time : Songs for Dead Children indeed), Arvo Pärt (Tabula Rasa!), Schönberg, Webern, Messiaen, some Stravinski, Richard Strauss (Salome, and Elektra),...

"How he made them laugh... sometimes"
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Old 09-07-2005   #5
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Re: Classical Music

Hey, yes, Ligeti and Ligotti, twin giants on my creativity-appreciation horizon!

I find Arvo Part bit to transcendental/spiritual/relaxation for me. I prefer Glass and Reich.

Some pieces I'd pick out as favourites of mine;

Late String Quartets/ Hammerklavier Piano Sonata - Beethoven
Piano Sonatas, String Quartets, Piano Trios - Schubert
Brahms - Symphonies, Clarinet music
Mahler - Symphonies
Shostakovich - fifteen string quartets
Wagner - Parsifal
Debussy - Pelleas and Melisande
Glass - Akhnaten, 'Dracula' String Quartet
Havergal Brian - Gothic Symphony
Nicholas Maw - Odyssey Symphony, Violin Concerto
Scnittke - Symphony No 1
Bartok - String Quartets
Penderecki - Threnody for Victims of Hiroshima
Malcolm Arnold - all symphonies

Vaughan Williams (Symphonia Antartica - Lovecraftian?), Thomas Ades (Ligottian?) , Benjamin Britten, James McMillan etc. etc.

*********

My personal take on the symphonies of Malcolm Arnold at the end of the site here:
http://www.geocities.com/bfitzworth/

My development as a lover of classical music (written 5 years ago):
http://www.dowse.com/classical-music.html

des

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Old 09-07-2005   #6
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Re: Classical Music

Des,

You've made me realise that I've written Ligeti with 2 "t"s... Of course due to the number of times I type Ligotti.

I also like Schnittke a lot (his ballet music Peer Gynt is great). I like some of Glass and Reich music as well, I'll have to check this Dracula-thing... And how could I forget Debussy's Pelléas et Mélisande? I also would like Fauré's Requiem to be played at my funeral, but not too soon, please.

If you love Shostakovich's String Quartets, then you must have a try at Bartòk's (there are 6 of them if I remember well).

"How he made them laugh... sometimes"
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Old 09-07-2005   #7
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My favorite piece of classical music hands down is "Pictures at an Exhibition" by Mussorgsky. The images conveyed...the literal up and way downs the opus takes you on is absolutely amazing.

"mars, bringer of war" by gustav holst. come on. came you name a piece of classical music that is heavier and more conducive to headbanging? (well there might be a couple)

Philip Glass...I love all of his compositions. namely his solo piano works. simply haunting yet comforting.

I, too, enjoy the dark ambient works of artists like Coil, NWW, Raison D'Etre and others that manipulate sounds to their wills. recent Ulver has done this to an amazing degree with their releases Svidd Neger and A Quick Fix of Melancholy.

there is no stronger drug than reality

yog-sothoth
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Old 09-07-2005   #8
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Re: Classical Music

re: Mussorgsky

There's an animator named Alexander Alexeieff who, together with his wife Claire Parker, made a number of interesting short films, a few of which revolve around Mussorgsky's music. They did a version of "Night on Bald Mountain" in the early 1930s, and later did a film that featured music from "Pictures at an Exhibition." The segment for "The Old Castle" stands out in my mind as being good 'n' moody, though for the life of me, I can only remember it in the vaguest of terms.

Alexeiff's/Parker's major innovation was called the "pinscreen," which was pretty much what it sounds like; imagine a massive switchboard with thousands of pins in various holes, lit from the side so that all manner of idiosyncratic chiaroscuro and textural effects are created.

I bring this up both because the films serve as an interesting complement to Mussorgsky's music, and also because I think they would appeal to Ligotti fans in general, as they're rather subtle and atmospheric. Unfortunately, I have no idea where they might be available, if at all; I don't think they've been released on DVD or anything, and I can only imagine that any video copies would be expensive and/or hard to come by.

...to stay more on the topic, I'm also not very well versed in classical music. (I spend most of my time listening to synth disco - no lie!) Of the composers already mentioned here, I've enjoyed the works of Glass, Ligeti, Debussy, Holst, as well as certain acts with neo-classical tendencies, like Coil and raison d'être. Other experimental composers, like Stockhausen and Cage, have intrigued me, but I can't enjoy the more abstract stuff on anything other than a cerebral level, and I tend to listen to music for emotional and/or physical immediacy.

Some personal recommendations: Gavin Bryars' "The Sinking of the Titanic" and "Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet." Henry Purcell's "Funeral Music for Queen Mary" (the basis for Wendy Carlos' "ACO" theme) and "King Arthur." John Tavener's "Song for Athene."

I'm also a sucker for a lot of stuff by Bach and Rachmaninoff, and for Pachelbel's "Canon in D," among other things.
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Old 09-08-2005   #9
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Re: Classical Music

Admittedly, I haven't delved very deep into classical music so I basically don't know many names of composers whose work I enjoy (or many in general for that matter). However, I'm a sucker for baroque guitar and although I am ignorant of anything worth discussing about classical music I really do like to listen to it. Bach had some amazing stuff (I'm partial to the Lute Suites and Brandenburg Concertos especially). Playing in the background as I type this is one of my favorite records called Julian and John, a classical guitar duet album played by Julian Bream and John Williams with a bunch of composers I don't recognize (Lawes, Carulli, Sor, Albeniz, Granados, Falla, and Ravel according to the sleave). I do tend to prefer smaller groups, and string instruments generally.

Much of the time I am listening to other types of music like Jazz (which I also enjoy but know nothing about like classical music), Coil (and other ambient/atmospheric/notquiteanythingelse music), or especially guitar rock circa 1990.
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Old 09-10-2005   #10
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Re: Classical Music

Mussorgsky must have entered my subconscious: I was going through some of my records today, and found a copy of this. Yikes. What else do I have lurking in there?
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