Author Topic: Memories and Associations (Unusual and Otherwise) Connected To Musical Works  (Read 3746 times)

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Offline Cato

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Since we have some members who were not here the last time such a topic surfaced, I thought I would start one again.

This is NOT a poll!   ;)

One of my more unusual associations deals with a section of the opening movement of Bruckner's Fourth Symphony.

Bars 334-350 (of the Nowak score) one day brought up the image a B-52 bomber approaching for a landing.

(I lived near an Air Force base in the good ol' days where a fair number of these behemoths took off every day!)

Why?  Who knows?

The opening of Busoni's Piano Concerto always takes me back to a vague memory of visiting the house of an elderly boss my father had in the early 1950's.  The place was out of the early 1900's, with maybe a hint that the 1920's were the last time anything had changed!.  The man's wife was very nice to me, plopping an entire plate of cookies in my lap!

Your turn!

« Last Edit: March 18, 2017, 05:55:23 AM by Cato »
"Now who taught ye t' be playin' patty fingers in the holy water?"

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Offline Scots John

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Since we have some members who were not here the lat time such a topic surfaced, I thought I would start one again.

This is NOT a poll!   ;)

One of my more unusual associations deals with a section of the opening movement of Bruckner's Fourth Symphony.

Bars 334-350 (of the Nowak score) one day brought up the image a B-52 bomber approaching for a landing.

(I lived near an Air Force base in the good ol' days where a fair number of these behemoths took off every day!)

Why?  Who knows?

The opening of Busoni's Piano Concerto always takes me back to a vague memory of visiting the house of an elderly boss my father had in the early 1950's.  The place was out of the early 1900's, with maybe a hint that the 1920's were the last time anything had changed!.  The man's wife was very nice to me, plopping an entire plate of cookies in my lap!

Your turn!

Bruckner, the fourth movement of his 8th Symphony, last movement, comes charging in like the four horses of the Apocalypse.  Sometimes it doesn't though.   :'(  Depends who is conducting!  But that's for another thread...

There's also the trio (I think) in the third movement of Atterbergs second which rather bizarrely brings to me the foreboding image of...BATMAN!

Dear Cats
You are a bunch of screeching, scratching, fish loving bums.  But I do love you all.
Kind regards
Scots John

Offline amw

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Clementi Sonatinas Op. 36 <----------> Taste and texture of dried mango

Don't ask me why.

Offline Cato

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Clementi Sonatinas Op. 36 <----------> Taste and texture of dried mango

Don't ask me why.

Fascinating!

Sounds like you may have synaesthesia!  ???
"Now who taught ye t' be playin' patty fingers in the holy water?"

- Barry Fitzgerald to John Wayne in  The Quiet Man.

Offline amw

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Fascinating!

Sounds like you may have synaesthesia!  ???

Well, I have the more "normal" colour-key thing (E major <---> green, G major <---> orange, etc—different keys also have different "textures" if that makes any sense), but taste doesn't usually enter into it. Most pieces don't taste of anything. But for some reason, hearing one of those Clementi sonatinas (particularly nos. 3 and 4) immediately gives me the feeling of having just bitten into a dried mango.

I can't stand dried mango. :lol:

Offline TheGSMoeller

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Rachmaninov's Symphonic Dances: I've always seen this as a dance for the dead or the demonic. Especially the second movement valse, and the chaotic over-the-top closing minutes of the finale where I find the evil dancing among fire.

These images originated from two places: My first recording of Dances was of Previn/LSO on EMI coupled with Isle of the Dead. I used to listen to the disc straight through and found a connection both in character and musically between the two pieces. That connection was technically the Dies Irae chant utilized in both works, but the fact that they were coupled together on disc almost merged them into one work for me.
The second reason is Symphonie Fantastique by Berlioz. For almost the exact same reason, the Dies irae. This was one of my first true "loves" of classical music, and the Witches Sabbath of the finale also conjured up those dark images, but it was Symphonic Dances where the ghouls and monsters of the Berlioz piece were able to get loose and cut a rug.

To this day Dances and Fantastique remain two of my favorite pieces of music, absolute masterful examples of music-inducing images.

Edit: or is it image-inducing music?
« Last Edit: November 06, 2013, 06:10:55 PM by TheGSMoeller »

Offline ChamberNut

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When I was young (sometime in the 1980's), back in the first incarnation of the Winnipeg Jets, I can swear that the arena organist would play the beginning of Brahms' Piano Quartet, Op. 60 Scherzo, during intermission or during a 'time out'.

Years later, falling in love with classical music and all.....it was like I immediately recognized the Brahms tune, and associated with attending Jets games as a youngster.  :)

Seriously......you can't make this shit up!  ??? :D
Location:  Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Offline Mirror Image

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Mahler's Adagietto in his Symphony No. 5 always brings up strong images in my mind mostly of things that have been hard for me to deal with (i. e. my Dad being ill, among other situations). I have actually had tears pouring from my eyes during this movement. The Passacaglia from Shostakovich's Violin Concerto No. 1 has a similar effect on me.

Other works like say Boris Tchaikovsky's Sebastopol Symphony or Silvestrov's Symphony No. 5 leave me with different images in my mind mostly of childhood and more innocent times.

I've never been a listener that has images of landscapes or structures. All of the images I've had dealt with my past or what I'm currently going through. Most of the time, though, I listen to music with no kind of associations whatsoever.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2013, 06:41:31 PM by Mirror Image »
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Offline Superhorn

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   When I hear such works as the Hindemith Weber metamorphoses , the Saint-Saens  Havanaise for violin and orchestra , Bernstein's Candide overture and several others, they have always reminded me of  the tour of  Australia , New Zealand, Samoa nd the Fiji islands
I took as a member of the Long Island  youth orchestra back in the 1970s in my callow youth . These were some of the works the orchestra played .
   It was an unforgettable  experience ; five weeks  going  through the south Pacific ,playing a concert at the then new  Sydney opera house ,
swimming in the great barrier reef and seeing giant clams  which were five feet in diameter ,  flying to the New Zealand alps ,and so much more . 
    The LI youth orchestra ws the first symphony orchestra ever to play in the Fiji islands !

Offline Pat B

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Clementi Sonatinas Op. 36 <----------> Taste and texture of dried mango

Don't ask me why.

Not clementines? ;)

For me, most of the time there are no associations.

Aside from the obvious program music examples (e.g. Vltava -> bubbling river) most of my exceptions are recollections of pieces I played as a student. My recollection of Corelli op. 6 no. 8 is sublime.

Among non-classical music I have a specific childhood memory of hearing "I Feel for You" by Chaka Khan. It has always taken me back to a time and place, but only now, by consciously thinking about it, do I really understand it. Maybe I'll share it later.

And then, thinking about Chaka Khan in a sort of emotional way reminds me of "Seth" Galifianakis discussing the Fugees. :laugh:

Offline Cato

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Rachmaninov's Symphonic Dances: I've always seen this as a dance for the dead or the demonic. Especially the second movement valse, and the chaotic over-the-top closing minutes of the finale where I find the evil dancing among fire.

These images originated from two places: My first recording of Dances was of Previn/LSO on EMI coupled with Isle of the Dead. I used to listen to the disc straight through and found a connection both in character and musically between the two pieces. That connection was technically the Dies Irae chant utilized in both works, but the fact that they were coupled together on disc almost merged them into one work for me.
The second reason is Symphonie Fantastique by Berlioz. For almost the exact same reason, the Dies Irae. This was one of my first true "loves" of classical music, and the Witches Sabbath of the finale also conjured up those dark images, but it was (Rachmaninov's) Symphonic Dances where the ghouls and monsters of the Berlioz piece were able to get loose and cut a rug.

To this day Dances and Fantastique remain two of my favorite pieces of music, absolute masterful examples of music-inducing images.

Edit: or is it image-inducing music?

Rachmaninov's Symphonic Dances seems to have been part of the composer's continual exorcising of his own demons!   0:)

And if one knew nothing about the Dies Irae ?  Would the work be picked up as a Totentanz of sorts?  I think it could be: "image-inducing" indeed!


Years later, falling in love with classical music and all.....it was like I immediately recognized the Brahms tune, and associated with attending Jets games as a youngster.  :)


Think of all the Looney Tunes cartoons and their associations with classical music: Elmer Fudd's infamous "Kill da wabbit!  Kill da wabbit!" has the potential of sabotaging the appreciation of Wagner!

Of course, some people would say that Wagner sabotages the appreciation of Wagner!   ;)

Not clementines? ;)

For me, most of the time there are no associations.

Aside from the obvious program music examples (e.g. Vltava -> bubbling river) most of my exceptions are recollections of pieces I played as a student. My recollection of Corelli op. 6 no. 8 is sublime.


I will need to check that piece!
"Now who taught ye t' be playin' patty fingers in the holy water?"

- Barry Fitzgerald to John Wayne in  The Quiet Man.

Online listener

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Haydn's "Surprise" Symphony variations which were more than that when played by a high school orchestra that had been in the open air for two hours and then told to 'just play the piece, no warmup please'.  We had tuned while it was still warm, evening cool had set in. The sound of the G-strings all approximating a unison by an interval and a half has lingered in my mind for decades.  Ives would have loved it.

Offline Cato

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Haydn's "Surprise" Symphony variations which were more than that when played by a high school orchestra that had been in the open air for two hours and then told to 'just play the piece, no warmup please'.  We had tuned while it was still warm, evening cool had set in. The sound of the G-strings all approximating a unison by an interval and a half has lingered in my mind for decades. 

Ives would have loved it.


 :D

Oh my!  For years I tried to rid myself of the memory of the finale of the Brahms First Symphony as played by a suburban orchestra of well-meaning amateurs and high school students.  For some reason the local classical radio station broadcast the concert - possibly trying to spread appreciation of amateur attempts in classical music - complete with the strings (especially the cellos) at times so awry that it was difficult to know exactly what they were playing!

I recall turning the concert on about a minute or two into the final movement, wondering "What is this?" and thinking that it might be the Brahms...but I could not be sure for a while!   ;)

I once knew a German who refused to listen to "Profis" play classical music: he went only to amateur concerts!  He subscribed to the Romantic notion that money sullied the music, and only the pure amateur, the innocent representative of das Volk, could properly play classical music.   0:)
"Now who taught ye t' be playin' patty fingers in the holy water?"

- Barry Fitzgerald to John Wayne in  The Quiet Man.

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Offline Cato

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  I went in and bought the cheapest ticket available, not knowing what was on the program.  It was the Philharmonic playing Scriabin, Poem of Ecstasy.

A great experience of a piece I probably would not have bought tickets for otherwise.

 8)

Serendipity!

Live music can enthuse people about a piece which they would otherwise not have wanted to hear.

Sometimes even "good" works that are not considered "great," can be improved by a great performance.
"Now who taught ye t' be playin' patty fingers in the holy water?"

- Barry Fitzgerald to John Wayne in  The Quiet Man.

Offline springrite

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Offline Mirror Image

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Rite of Spring ---- College sex

(Spits drink out of mouth from laughter)

Oh goodness....that was too funny! :P
“Music is enough for a lifetime but a lifetime is not enough for music.” - Sergei Rachmaninov

Offline Cato

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Rite of Spring ---- College sex

Hmm!  I guess the sacrifice of a maiden is involved!   0:)
"Now who taught ye t' be playin' patty fingers in the holy water?"

- Barry Fitzgerald to John Wayne in  The Quiet Man.

Offline TheGSMoeller

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Rite of Spring ---- College sex

I was thinking more along the lines of "Short Ride in a Fast Machine" for college.

Offline Mirror Image

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Hmm!  I guess the sacrifice of a maiden is involved!   0:)

LOL!!! Oh, this is too much!!! I can't laugh from hurting now! :D
“Music is enough for a lifetime but a lifetime is not enough for music.” - Sergei Rachmaninov

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