Author Topic: Newbie Here Looking For Direction  (Read 5664 times)

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Offline Scion7

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Re: Newbie Here Looking For Direction
« Reply #40 on: April 22, 2016, 11:17:25 PM »
Since you apparently got off on the wrong foot with Mahler, let me try to suggest something that might appeal more to you.
For me, the Ninth and the completed portion of the Tenth are the ultimate in the instrumental Mahler, but  'The Song of the Earth' is generally considered his greatest achievement, and definitely the most popular historically.  Bernstein is not the best Mahler interpreter, but he's more than adequate here with a good orchestra and the great Christa Ludwig.  There are better studio recordings available, of course, but watching it 'live' may give you more appreciation for it - especially if you read along with the text.

             https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=idRevTkIPts

I shudder somewhat to say this, but skip ahead to the final movement, at 34:29 - this is Der Abschied (The Farewell).
Mahler created a transitional work that is part symphony, part song.  This 'should' grab you, especially if you'll dig around the web and read about the origin of the work and read the texts (which you can find in English) that Mahler worked (and edited) from.

Then go back to the beginning and watch the whole thing, from the opening with Kollo kick-starting the proceedings.  If you come to love Das Lied von der Erde, which Mahler never got to hear - it was published, then performed, after his death - there is a major, long thread on this site about the various recordings of this work if you find yourself more interested. 

Added later - texts -  http://www.keepingscore.org/content/farewell-das-lied-von-der-erde-song-earth-symphony-tenor-and-contralto-or-baritone-and-orc
« Last Edit: April 23, 2016, 10:37:33 AM by Scion7 »
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Offline Que

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Re: Newbie Here Looking For Direction
« Reply #41 on: April 23, 2016, 12:32:15 AM »
I find the Mahler and Sibelius pushing in the Beginners section quite endearing..... :D (Only Bruckner is missing to complete the picture...  ;)) Althougj it reflects general forum preferences, I don't think Mahler is your typical beginner's material...... 8)

Q
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Offline Jo498

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Re: Newbie Here Looking For Direction
« Reply #42 on: April 23, 2016, 12:46:07 AM »
I agree with Que. I am also not sure whether Das Lied von der Erde is the best start for Mahler. Many beginners are not very fond of classical singing. (My hypothesis is that this is mainly due to having been socialized for years or decades with amplified singing and therefore finding unamplified but classically trained voices "unnatural" and mannered).
I thought the most popular Mahler pieces were the 1st, 5th and 2nd (o.k. this one does have singing as well) symphonies. Although in the case of the 5th this might be due mostly to the popularity of the adagietto as movie music.

There ist nothing wrong with trying Bruckner, Mahler and Sibelius. Interestingly, when I started listening to classical almost 30 years ago, these would often be missing from typical "beginners" selections. There was Brahms, Wagner, Dvorak, Tchaikovsky and then e.g. Strauss' Eulenspiegel, Debussy's "Prelude" and "La mer" and then the more accessible Stravinsky like Firebird.
So apparently until recently those three (and others) were often deemed either to heavy for beginners or niches that could be left for later exploration.
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Offline Scion7

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Re: Newbie Here Looking For Direction
« Reply #43 on: April 23, 2016, 03:40:24 AM »
I've also just bought a boxset of vinyl from eBay ... with some Schubert, Dvorak, Brahms and Tchaikovsky so that's plenty to go at I feel.

Which some, if you don't mind telling the tale?
If I could create an ideal world, it would be an England with the fire of the Elizabethans, the correct taste of the Georgians, and the refinement and pure ideals of the Victorians. - H.P. Lovecraft

Offline mellis107

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Re: Newbie Here Looking For Direction
« Reply #44 on: April 23, 2016, 09:14:11 AM »
Which some, if you don't mind telling the tale?

No problem at all Scion7. The full contents are as follows:
Beethoven - Symphonies 5 & 8
Tchaikovsky - Symphony 6
Brahms - Symphony 1
Dvorak - Symphony 9
Schubert - Symphony 5 & 8

Offline mellis107

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Re: Newbie Here Looking For Direction
« Reply #45 on: April 23, 2016, 09:16:13 AM »
Since you apparently got off on the wrong foot with Mahler, let me try to suggest something that might appeal more to you.
For me, the Ninth and the completed portion of the Tenth are the ultimate in the instrumental Mahler, but  'The Song of the Earth' is generally considered his greatest achievement, and definitely the most popular.  Bernstein is not the best Mahler interpreter, but he's more than adequate here with a good orchestra and the great Christa Ludwig.  There are better studio recordings available, of course, but watching it 'live' may give you more appreciation for it - especially if you read along with the text.

             https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=idRevTkIPts

I shudder somewhat to say this, but skip ahead to the final movement, at 34:29 - this is Der Abschied (The Farewell).
Mahler created a transitional work that is part symphony, part song.  This 'should' grab you, especially if you'll dig around the web and read about the origin of the work and read the texts (which you can find in English) that Mahler worked (and edited) from.

Then go back to the beginning and watch the whole thing, from the opening with Kollo kick-starting the proceedings.  If you come to love Das Lied von der Erde, which Mahler never got to hear - it was published, then performed, after his death - there is a major, long thread on this site about the various recordings of this work if you find yourself more interested.

Lovely thanks! I'll give that one a go. I think if I still don't get on with Mahler after this then I'll call it a dead end for now, and move onto other things.

Offline Que

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Re: Newbie Here Looking For Direction
« Reply #46 on: April 23, 2016, 09:34:31 AM »
No problem at all Scion7. The full contents are as follows:
Beethoven - Symphonies 5 & 8
Tchaikovsky - Symphony 6
Brahms - Symphony 1
Dvorak - Symphony 9
Schubert - Symphony 5 & 8

That's an excellent list of masterpieces to start off with!  :)

Q
« Last Edit: April 23, 2016, 09:43:47 AM by Que »
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Online k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Newbie Here Looking For Direction
« Reply #47 on: April 23, 2016, 09:54:40 AM »


I agree with Que. I am also not sure whether Das Lied von der Erde is the best start for Mahler. Many beginners are not very fond of classical singing.

Das Lied von der Erde was, in fact, the first Mahler I heard, and I liked it fine from the start. (Of course, I had been singing in choirs since my later teen years.)

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Offline Scion7

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Re: Newbie Here Looking For Direction
« Reply #48 on: April 23, 2016, 10:47:59 AM »
There's something about it that makes it a great late-night listen right at that point where slumber is almost upon you - for The Farewell - and while it is sort of melancholy, at the same time, it is comforting.

* * *

That's a nice little grab bag you got there.
The seed that might germinate into an appreciation of the late Beethoven quartets, Mozart's symphonies No.39-40-41, Bach's Art of the Fugue and the 'Brandenburg Concertos', Vivaldi's The Four Seasons, Tchaikovsky's ballets, Shostakovich's 7th, 8th, and 10th symphonies, Schubert's songs, Brahms' vast chamber music works, the violin concertos of Beethoven, Tchaikovsky & Brahms, the piano music of Liszt, Chopin & Debussy, etc., etc., ad infinitum ..... We all need more than 10 lifetimes to really be able to listen to it all so many times that we become very familiar with it - but, alas . . .
« Last Edit: April 23, 2016, 10:50:30 AM by Scion7 »
If I could create an ideal world, it would be an England with the fire of the Elizabethans, the correct taste of the Georgians, and the refinement and pure ideals of the Victorians. - H.P. Lovecraft

Offline mellis107

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Re: Newbie Here Looking For Direction
« Reply #49 on: April 23, 2016, 01:38:17 PM »
That's an excellent list of masterpieces to start off with!  :)

Q

I am keen to hear another Beethoven piece, to see if his 100% winning streak can possibly last...  :)

Offline Scion7

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Re: Newbie Here Looking For Direction
« Reply #50 on: April 23, 2016, 02:27:03 PM »
Well, Beethoven's 9th is the symphony-of-symphonies.
The 6th "Pastoral" is great, and the 7th is, too - all three of these top the 8th.
His late quartets and late piano sonatas are supreme pieces of music.
From his 'middle period,' you should love the 5th Piano Concerto "Emperor" and his violin concerto is one of the very best.
His violin sonata No.9/Op.47 "Kreutzer" is a supreme chamber piece.  The piano trio Op.90 "Archduke" is a defining Classical-period trio.
The last two cello sonatas Op.102 rank with the late quartets (almost.)
Pepper these with some of the other piano sonatas like No.23/Op.57 "Appassionata" , No.14/Op.27-2 "Moonlight" , No.8/Op.13 "Pathétique" , No.21/Op.53 "Waldstein" and No.26/Op.81a "Les adieux" -- this should give you a good taste of ol' Ludwig Van.  After that you can explore his many chamber pieces for winds, the middle period quartets, the string trios, the various symphonic program pieces, the overture to Fidelio ... - he has a big resume.    And some day you might even like to do some research/reading on him, especially his letters, which you can easily find.  They make some of the most interesting reading of any composer.

I'm glad you are taking an "instant like" to Beethoven - your head is on straight.
Insert <thumbs-up emoticon> here.
After all, we're talking about a mind that composed his greatest, most powerful music (and therefore some of the greatest music ever made) in total deafness - the sheer power of his intellect boggles the imagination.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2016, 08:53:52 PM by Scion7 »
If I could create an ideal world, it would be an England with the fire of the Elizabethans, the correct taste of the Georgians, and the refinement and pure ideals of the Victorians. - H.P. Lovecraft

Offline mellis107

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Re: Newbie Here Looking For Direction
« Reply #51 on: April 29, 2016, 08:24:37 AM »
Since you apparently got off on the wrong foot with Mahler, let me try to suggest something that might appeal more to you.
For me, the Ninth and the completed portion of the Tenth are the ultimate in the instrumental Mahler, but  'The Song of the Earth' is generally considered his greatest achievement, and definitely the most popular historically.  Bernstein is not the best Mahler interpreter, but he's more than adequate here with a good orchestra and the great Christa Ludwig.  There are better studio recordings available, of course, but watching it 'live' may give you more appreciation for it - especially if you read along with the text.

             https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=idRevTkIPts

I shudder somewhat to say this, but skip ahead to the final movement, at 34:29 - this is Der Abschied (The Farewell).
Mahler created a transitional work that is part symphony, part song.  This 'should' grab you, especially if you'll dig around the web and read about the origin of the work and read the texts (which you can find in English) that Mahler worked (and edited) from.

Then go back to the beginning and watch the whole thing, from the opening with Kollo kick-starting the proceedings.  If you come to love Das Lied von der Erde, which Mahler never got to hear - it was published, then performed, after his death - there is a major, long thread on this site about the various recordings of this work if you find yourself more interested. 

Added later - texts -  http://www.keepingscore.org/content/farewell-das-lied-von-der-erde-song-earth-symphony-tenor-and-contralto-or-baritone-and-orc

 :(
I'm afraid that this one didn't grab me either. Maybe Mahler just isn't for me? I think I'll leave this particular side road for now, but thats not to say I'll never come back for another look-see.

However, I do have to thank you for taking the time to give me the help and encouragement with this. It is very much appreciated. That goes for everyone who has offered help and advice.

A small update, if I may?

I finally got around to listening to Beethoven's 9th Symphony all the way through, and my word. Thats going to take some sinking in. I liked it. I liked it a lot. But its just so huge. If Beethoven was a TV show, this would be the series finale - lets throw everything we have at it and just go out on a bang. This one will definitely take a few more run throughs I think.

Staying with Beethoven, the Egmont Overture was another hit for me. I loved it. Can this man compose anything that I don't like? I'm sure I'm come across a dud sooner or later, but for now his hit rate is 100%.

I've also been able to listen to Dvorak's 9th Symphony and I really really liked this one too. Not so keen on the second movement but everything else I thought was excellent. Though this was on vinyl from the boxset I mentioned above, and I am really disappointed in the quality. Everything sounds like its playing in the next room, so I've popped this piece into my Spotify playlist and given it a go on my headphones. Much better!  ;D

Offline Scion7

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Re: Newbie Here Looking For Direction
« Reply #52 on: April 29, 2016, 10:19:31 AM »
'From the New World' is a great symphony, glad you liked it.
If I could create an ideal world, it would be an England with the fire of the Elizabethans, the correct taste of the Georgians, and the refinement and pure ideals of the Victorians. - H.P. Lovecraft

Offline Jo498

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Re: Newbie Here Looking For Direction
« Reply #53 on: April 29, 2016, 01:03:36 PM »
It's unlikely that you will dislike any well-known orchestral piece by Beethoven if you like the one's you liked so far although you might not be impressed equally by all of them. Despite the "heaven-storming" heroic clichee that is fulfilled by pieces like Egmont or the 9th symphony there are surprisingly many lyrical and humorous pieces by Beethoven, e.g. the 4th symphony or the 4th piano concerto.
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

Offline Scion7

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Re: Newbie Here Looking For Direction
« Reply #54 on: April 29, 2016, 05:16:25 PM »
Very sorry you didn't like "Song of the Earth." 

Generally speaking, Beethoven's music is rhythmically driven (with major exceptions) whereas generally speaking, Mahler's music is more lyrical in the manner of Brahms (with major exceptions).

If you like the Adagio from Beethoven's 7th symphony, I would hope you could appreciate the (only completed portion) of Mahler's tenth: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8PQT5IK8mwA

 - additionally, for a taste of Mahlerian driving rhythm (which you also heard in the opening of "Song of the Earth") you can try his fifth:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aSepvjZzpkg

And if that doesn't grab you, maybe the ninth?  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RjYs99atLUI

After this, I'm spent.    :P
« Last Edit: April 29, 2016, 05:19:56 PM by Scion7 »
If I could create an ideal world, it would be an England with the fire of the Elizabethans, the correct taste of the Georgians, and the refinement and pure ideals of the Victorians. - H.P. Lovecraft

Offline jochanaan

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Re: Newbie Here Looking For Direction
« Reply #55 on: May 02, 2016, 04:30:00 PM »
...If you like the Adagio from Beethoven's 7th symphony...
Sorry, but my inner geek won't let that pass.  The second movement of B7 is Allegretto, not Adagio. :)
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Re: Newbie Here Looking For Direction
« Reply #56 on: October 23, 2016, 09:59:15 PM »
A little bit of an update.

I tried a bit of Mahler, namely the 2nd Symphony. I'm afraid to say that I didn't care for it. There didn't seem to be anything for me to latch onto. Maybe I started in the wrong place. Would there be a better introduction to Mahler? Perhaps moving away from the symphonies?

Last night I gave Sibelious 5th Symphony a go, and really liked it. Not as immediately impactful as Beethoven's 5th, and in many ways a calmer experience, but there is plenty to enjoy here. I've listened a couple of times, and I'll hopefully have time to give it another run through at some point today.

EDIT: Just to say that it was a second recording of the 5th that I enjoyed more than the first one I found. Obviously, I don't have enough knowledge to know why this was so, but there you go.

Mahler didn't write much except the symphonies.  The Resurrection is my favorite.  Try the Klemperer recording, and the Kubelik set.  For other things, there's Das Lied von der Erde (The Song of the Earth), with Ferrier, Conducted by Bruno Walter, and a few other works.
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Offline dylanesque

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Newbie Here Looking For Direction
« Reply #57 on: January 24, 2017, 12:55:40 PM »
I'd go Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, Chopin, Mahler
Bach - Mass in B (Gardiner)
Mozart Jupiter( Mackerras)
Beethoven Symphony 3(Rattle)Symphony 5(Klieber)
Brahms Symphony 4 (Klieber)
Chopin Nocturnes ( Ashkenazy)
Mahler Symphony 4 (Maazel)


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