I've been reading a few threads in here and thought I may be able to get a little help from you guys. I'll tell you a little about my journey into classical music so far.
I've always like the idea of classical music as a genre. As everyone has, I've heard bits a pieces here and there on TV, movies, commercials, and the like, and liked the sound of what I heard. It didn't go any further than that for years though.
I've always been a movie fan, and listened to movie soundtracks quite often, so instrumental pieces aren't new to me. Likewise, I like heavy metal music, so I'm used to longer compositions.
About a year ago, I was searching the Google Play Music catalogue, and found one of those "99 Best Pieces of Classical Music" compilations for a couple of pound. I downloaded it, and listened to a few tracks, and lo and behold found that I knew and enjoyed many of them. But I was still unsatisfied. It felt too unfocused a way to begin my journey, too overwhelming and the track names didn't have composers attached so I had no idea who I was listening to!
Fast forward a few months, and I decided to give the whole classical thing another go. Being a Science Fiction fan, I downloaded Holst's "The Planets", dimmed the lights, reclined my chair and put on my headphones. Well, that was it. I was transported. That was a magnificent experience. I think at that point I was determined to explore further.
Digressing slightly, I have recently joined the vinyl revolution, and a classical thread on a vinyl forum I visit suggested that charity shops are full to the brim with forgotten classical titles, in good condition, for next to no money.
With this in mind I hit my nearest town centre, and came away with the following on vinyl (over a couple of separate trips):
Vivaldi - The Four Seasons Op. 8 Nos. 1-4
Tchaikovsky - The Nutcracker (Complete Ballet)
JS Bach - Brandenburg Concertos Nos. 4-6
Mozart - Piano Concerto No. 21 (Eine Kleine Nachtmusik)
Sibelius - Symphony No.2 in D
Classical Gold Vols 1 & 2 Compilations(Excerpts from longer works)
Of the above I've only listened to Vivaldi, and really enjoyed it. Are the rest of the works worth checking out? Have I got a "good" basis from which to work?
In addition to these, I've fired Spotify up, and checked out a few works on there. Mainly Beethoven's 5th (which I'm a little obsessed with at the moment - my God its majestic!) I'm afraid that I've peaked too early with this though and its all downhill from here... Staying with Beethoven, Moonlight Sonata and Fur Elise and too fantastic. I believe I may be turning into a Beethoven fanboy. I'm taking it slowly with each piece, listening to it over and over until I feel I know it well. My next step is to check out his 4th Symphony (just because its on the same album as the 5th), and then the 9th (because I heard such good things about it. Is this a good path to take?
Looking further ahead, I gather from this forum that Mahler is well thought of, and I heard a piece from his 2nd Symphony on a YouTube video that sounded good, so thats definitely on my radar.
I also suspect that I'd like Wagner. I'm a big Meat Loaf/Jim Steinman fan and Steinman's songs are often described as Wangerian rock opera. But I've no idea where to start. Any thoughts on this? I'm really drawn towards the dramatic/OTT/high energy style of music.
Now, I'm not a music student, nor do I have any background on music theory, or forms, etc. Is it OK if I just like what goes in my ears?
Thanks for reading this and I look forward to everyone's input.