Author Topic: Classical newbie looking to expand my library  (Read 914 times)

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Offline bigdukesix

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Classical newbie looking to expand my library
« on: October 19, 2011, 07:25:46 PM »
 Hi all, classical music newcomer here.  I'd like to branch out and find more pieces that I enjoy.  I listen to the local classical radio station and a lot of the music they play just doesn't grab me, at least not right away.  Some pieces that I do really love are Bach's harpsichord concertos, BMV 1052-1057.  Any recommendations based off of that? Similar pieces or "if you like that you'll probably like this" deals? The classical music universe is intimidatingly large and I haven't found any resources that would help me search for more music based on what I already like.  I'm hoping to gradually expand outwards from this base until I can appreciate a wider variety of pieces. 

Thanks for any advice you can offer. 

Offline Velimir

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Re: Classical newbie looking to expand my library
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2011, 08:34:33 AM »
Greetings and welcome! My first thought is, since you already like some Bach, you might want to explore him a bit more. I would suggest getting hold of the Brandenburg Concertos next - there are 6 of 'em, each for a different instrumental ensemble, and they fit conveniently on 2 CDs.

If you already like Bach, there are other composers of the same period you may also like: Handel, Vivaldi, and Scarlatti for example.
formerly SPITVALVE

I want to die peacefully in my sleep like my grandfather, not like the screaming passengers in his car.

Offline Palmetto

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Re: Classical newbie looking to expand my library
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2011, 09:55:15 AM »
Greetings and welcome! My first thought is, since you already like some Bach, you might want to explore him a bit more.

I second the 'Brandenburg Concertos' suggestion!

I'm big on using free resources to broaden my exposure to a composer or to sample ones new to me.  You can find several of Bach's works at this site:

http://www.gardnermuseum.org/music/listen/podcasts

along with other scribblers.  The site's podcasts are about an hour each and can be downloaded free of charge.  They feature smaller ensembles, usually quintets or less; fortunately, a lot of Bach fits into that format.  (The theory here is that their facility can't accommodate larger groups.)

I also like this site:

http://musopen.org/music

Again, downloads are free.  The selection of composers and forms available here is much larger, although downloading more than three works at a time requires registering for a free account.  ('Larger', but barely scratching the surface of what's out there  :) )

Of course, there's always YouTube, although the audio quality is unpredictable.

Finally, you may want to review this discussion already in progress here:

http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,767.0.html

Have fun!
« Last Edit: October 20, 2011, 10:49:25 AM by Palmetto »

Offline Opus106

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Re: Classical newbie looking to expand my library
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2011, 10:18:30 AM »
I would suggest getting hold of the Brandenburg Concertos next - there are 6 of 'em, each for a different instrumental ensemble, and they fit conveniently on 2 CDs.

Thirded. Bigdukesix, you should also try the violin concerti - BWV 1041-43 and those for multiple instruments (harpsichord, flute and violin; violin and oboe). The one for three violins, 1060, is such a delight to listen to that it never fails to make me smile with warms feelings inside. :) In fact, much of the Bach's music in this genre is thought to have been written with the violin in mind originally. Even though in some cases we now have only the scores for those written for the harpsichord, some musicians have attempted at reconstructing the originals. (You can consult this list for more information on each work.)

Bach's model for these works were from Italy: the concerti by Vivaldi (too many to list, but perhaps you have heard (of) 'The Four Seasons'?).

Then there are the concerti grossi by composers like Handel and Corelli which may appeal to you.
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Offline jochanaan

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Re: Classical newbie looking to expand my library
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2011, 10:19:52 AM »
Since you're already started on "works for keyboard and orchestra," you might also try the Mozart piano concertos, especially No. 20, K.466 in D minor--a concerto that continues to astonish after more than 200 years. :D
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