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Classical Musings
21 December 2015
3.44am
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Shamrock Womlbs
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meanmistermustard said
I listened to Beethoven's 9th Symphony today (all four chorals) and enjoyed it. No idea where I will go next but its nice having something on I haven't heard before. Does it matter which recording you listen to or is the equivalent of listening to either the 1999, 2003, 2009 or 2015 mix of 'Paperback Writer ' ie its all the same damn song?

You will also hear differences in depending of the conductor , probably slight differences between karajan and bernstein. And depending on what period it was recorded , as in the 20's the style of playing was kinda different from today's. But , anyways, the music will be very much the same. Not a single note will be added or left behind.

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"I Need You by George Harrison"

21 December 2015
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lillo78 said

meanmistermustard said
I listened to Beethoven's 9th Symphony today (all four chorals) and enjoyed it. No idea where I will go next but its nice having something on I haven't heard before. Does it matter which recording you listen to or is the equivalent of listening to either the 1999, 2003, 2009 or 2015 mix of 'Paperback Writer ' ie its all the same damn song?

You will also hear differences in depending of the conductor , probably slight differences between karajan and bernstein. And depending on what period it was recorded , as in the 20's the style of playing was kinda different from today's. But , anyways, the music will be very much the same. Not a single note will be added or left behind.

Oh oh.  It’s like listening to the EMI Parlophone or the Dexterized Capitol recording of the Beatles...... brian-epstein

Classical in Mono or Stereo???? a-hard-days-night-paul-11

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22 December 2015
1.53am
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One or two (or maybe a few more) Philips CDs are now wending their way down here from Amazon USA 😉

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26 December 2015
5.46pm
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Listening to Holst's 'The Planets'. Surprised in how familiar it is despite not knowing the names of the pieces or having set out to listen to it before.

"I told you everything I could about me, Told you everything I could" ('Before Believing' - Emmylou Harris) 

"Don't make your love suffer insecurities; Trade the baggage of self to set another one free" ('Paper Skin' - Kendall Payne)

26 December 2015
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meanmistermustard said
Listening to Holst's 'The Planets'. Surprised in how familiar it is despite not knowing the names of the pieces or having set out to listen to it before.

Yes, I remember thinking the same when the Jupiter (I think it was that one) section started.

On the buying front - I have ordered a box of Delius (18 CDs) which will be really new territory for me. I thought I should get all Brit patriotic in my explorations 😉

==> trcanberra and hongkonglady - Together even when not (married for those not in the know!) <==

26 December 2015
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The Planets is great..."Mars" I've heard in a coupla movies, maybe that's where mmm recognizes it from 

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One day, a tape-op got a tape on backwards, he went to play it, and it was all "Neeeradno-undowarrroom" and it was "Wow! Sounds Indian!"
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27 December 2015
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The Brit exploration went into overdrive today with EMI boxes of Vaughan Williams and Elgar - both conducted by Sir Adrian Boult.

Oh, and the EMI Jaqueline du Pre box.

I will be a lot better off when Presto Classical finish off their "up to 50% off classical boxes" sale in a few days. Those mentioned above were all at 50% discount - and their postage to Australia from the UK is really cheap as well.

No, I don't really need or want a Holst box. Do I?

==> trcanberra and hongkonglady - Together even when not (married for those not in the know!) <==

30 December 2015
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Was listening to Beethoven's 5th Symphony earlier and the famous movement (which turns out to be the first of four) really isn't the best part. To me it resembles when you find a catchy riff and you keep playing around with it to the point of it getting dull. Afterwards you move on and create the proper stuff.

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30 December 2015
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meanmistermustard said
Was listening to Beethoven's 5th Symphony earlier and the famous movement (which turns out to be the first of four) really isn't the best part. To me it resembles when you find a catchy riff and you keep playing around with it to the point of it getting dull. Afterwards you move on and create the proper stuff.

This is my favourite piece of classical music (just); partly because it was the one which started my interest in classical in a major way (so it brings back great memories), but also because it is a wonderful piece in its own right. I tend to agree with your thoughts - it gets better after the novelty of the initial hook has faded (something which rock songs like Smoke On The Water rarely manage to do). The opening of the last movement is particularly memorable.

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30 December 2015
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meanmistermustard said
Was listening to Beethoven's 5th Symphony earlier and the famous movement (which turns out to be the first of four) really isn't the best part. To me it resembles when you find a catchy riff and you keep playing around with it to the point of it getting dull. Afterwards you move on and create the proper stuff.

While I think of it @meanmistermustard; which orchestra and conductor played the version you have? And which record label issued it?

Yes, all of these things are meaningful classical music listening arcana; just like which mastering or mix of Beatles music matter to many of us, or give info on the quality of the experience.

==> trcanberra and hongkonglady - Together even when not (married for those not in the know!) <==

31 December 2015
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Maybe the 3rd of 4th movements are more accesible and fun to listen to. And the 2nd one is also great. The main thing from the 1st movement (and the whole symphony) is that it's developed from that rythmic motive, something unusual until that moment.

I'd also recomend you the 7th symphony. Brilliant one. Leonard Bernstein and the Wiener Philarmoniker version would be great. Win win

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31 December 2015
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trcanberra said

meanmistermustard said
Was listening to Beethoven's 5th Symphony earlier and the famous movement (which turns out to be the first of four) really isn't the best part. To me it resembles when you find a catchy riff and you keep playing around with it to the point of it getting dull. Afterwards you move on and create the proper stuff.

While I think of it @meanmistermustard; which orchestra and conductor played the version you have? And which record label issued it?

Yes, all of these things are meaningful classical music listening arcana; just like which mastering or mix of Beatles music matter to many of us, or give info on the quality of the experience.

London Symphony Orchestra with Josef Krips. Fatboy Recordings.

216004472.jpgImage Enlarger

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31 December 2015
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^ Cheers, nice orchestra - it could be quite an old recording as Krips was their conductor in the early 1950s. Every conductor approaches a piece in different ways; some of the differences can be quite subtle - but some can be quite dramatic - like playing faster on period instruments or going slower and accentuating the mood of the piece. One of the ongoing debates is how a piece "should" be played - with yet another camp arguing that the music is there to be interpreted.

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31 December 2015
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Does it matter it was recorded in the early 50's? The majority of Elvis's best years were recorded in the mid to late 50's and they're still grand. I ask genuinely and not in a sarcastic manner, i have no idea about Classical music.

As for how to play a piece i tend to lean on the "well" side of the debate. Yes, playing it well comes above everything else. Maybe in 5 years I'll be arguing that one piece is better than the other because the lady playing it is interpreting it in the muse of a duck actually on the water instead of a badger looking on from a nearby field.

 

Currently i have BBC Radio 3 on which is playing some Russian Opera, i forget who by. The devil and about 34 people have come to some lasses house to seduce her so nice and cheerful is the theme. Who would have thought I'd be sitting listening to a Russian Opera but it was either that or some report on BBC Radio 4 that was heavily weighed in manipulating me on some issue or other. The Russian Opera is actually quite pleasant and enjoyable once you get passed a) its in Russian, b) you have little idea what is going on (if you dont speak Russian) and c) the natural reaction is its a lot of people shrieking either loudly or not.

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31 December 2015
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meanmistermustard said
Does it matter it was recorded in the early 50's? 
 

[SNIP]

Currently i have BBC Radio 3 on which is playing some Russian Opera, i forget who by. The devil and about 34 people have come to some lasses house to seduce her so nice and cheerful is the theme. Who would have thought I'd be sitting listening to a Russian Opera but it was either that or some report on BBC Radio 4 that was heavily weighed in manipulating me on some issue or other. The Russian Opera is actually quite pleasant and enjoyable once you get passed a) its in Russian, b) you have little idea what is going on (if you dont speak Russian) and c) the natural reaction is its a lot of people shrieking either loudly or not.

It only matters in that it will give folks a bit of an idea of how it has been interpreted - these things tend to go in cycles regarding the size of orchestra used, the speed of the performance etc. The sound quality of some of those older recordings can be, as you suggest, excellent.

So, umm, what happened to the lass? Sounds a lot of fun.

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31 December 2015
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meanmistermustard said
Does it matter it was recorded in the early 50's? The majority of Elvis's best years were recorded in the mid to late 50's and they're still grand. I ask genuinely and not in a sarcastic manner, i have no idea about Classical music.

That’s the beauty of the Solti CD’s.  They are modern, clean recordings.  I’m no expert in this field, but this is the best I’ve heard .

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31 December 2015
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trcanberra said

 

So, umm, what happened to the lass? Sounds a lot of fun.

The boy went to the devil, made a pact, folk laughed, he rode on devils back into town, won lasses heart, everyone home for tea and biscuits.

Thats the gist of the matter.

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31 December 2015
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While I remember, the other factors of interest around the dates of recording are:

  1. The usual is it mono or is it stereo question
  2. For a particular conductor it will tell us which interpretation of the work it is if they have recorded it multiple times - and the versions can be quite different. As one example; Herbert von Karajan has recorded the complete set of Beethoven symphonies at least 3 times - and his 1963 versions are quite different in mood and tone from his 1977 versions. My favourite 5th is his 1963 recording - my favourite 6th is his 1977 recording as he just nails it - and so on.

    Kind of like Paul and Give My Regards To Broad Street 😉

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11 January 2016
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For @meanmistermustard and others who may be exploring Classical Music and wondering what to listen to and who the composers of interest may be, this book is great:

Image Enlarger

It can be found cheaply on ebay or perhaps your local library can get a copy in. It has good biographies of the main composers, including a discussion of the type of music they compose. It then lists their key works and tells you what to listen out for when you are listening to them. There is also a guide to some of the better CDs of each of those compositions. It does a pretty good job of being all three things - a guide to composers, a listening guide and a buying guide.

It also has some interesting "sidebar" articles on musical topics of interest; and where a composer has made a significant contribution to a particular area of music (such as Beethoven and the classical symphony) it also gives an overview of that contribution before examining particular works.

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11 January 2016
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Thanks @trcanberra. Will hopefully get a copy somehow soon but my classical trawlings have been delayed severely by audio documentary 'The Beatles Anthology Revisited'.

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