Author Topic: I listen to Death Metal. I'd like to listen to classical, too. Where do I start?  (Read 16608 times)

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Offline Dave B

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"""Ideally, I'd like a list of the essential works by the most influential classical composers.""""


Miles, I'm not all that far from being a beginner myself, although I've been listening for years now---here is an interesting list posted on the classical station in this area, WFCC.  Naturally a lot of the pieces are listed in your CD list, but this is what WFCC says are the most popular pieces with listeners over the years. I hope this helps.


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Essential Classics


Many people have asked us over the years, “Which pieces of classical music do YOU think are the best?” And of course, that’s a difficult question to answer! But, we’ve managed to narrow our list down from thousands and thousands of pieces to…oh, a hundred or so.

This is simply a list of our listeners’ favorites over the years.

Bach The Brandenburg Concerti
Bach Orchestral Suite #3 (Air on the G string)
Bach Violin Concerto #2
Barber Adagio for Strings
Beethoven “Moonlight Sonata”, Piano Sonata #14
Beethoven Piano Concerto #5, “Emperor”
Beethoven Symphony #3, “Eroica”
Beethoven Symphony #5
Beethoven Symphony #6, “Pastoral”
Beethoven Symphony #7
Beethoven Symphony #9, “Choral”
Beethoven Violin Concerto in D
Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique
Bernstein Candide Overture
Bizet Carmen
Boccherini Minuet in G
Borodin Nocturne for Strings
Brahms Piano Concerto #1
Brahms Symphony #1
Brahms Symphony #3
Brahms Variations on a Theme by Haydn
Brahms Violin Concerto
Bruch Scottish Fantasy
Chopin Piano Concerto #1
Copland Appalachian Spring
Copland Fanfare for the Common Man
Debussy Clair de lune
Debussy Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun
Dukas The Sorcerer’s Apprentice
Dvorak Cello Concerto
Dvorak Slavonic Dances
Dvorak String Quartet #12, “American”
Dvorak Symphony #9, “New World”
Elgar Enigma Variations
Faure Pavane
Gershwin An American in Paris
Gershwin Rhapsody in Blue
Grieg Peer Gynt Suites
Grieg Piano Concerto
Handel The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba
Handel Messiah
Handel Music for the Royal Fireworks
Handel Water Music
Haydn Symphony #94, “Surprise”
Haydn Symphony #104, “London”
Haydn Trumpet Concerto
Holst The Planets
Liszt Piano Concerto #1
Mahler Symphony #1, “Titan”
Massenet Meditation from Thais
Mendelssohn A Midsummer Night’s Dream Overture
Mendelssohn Symphony #3, “Scottish”
Mendelssohn Symphony #4, “Italian”
Mendelssohn Violin Concerto
Mozart Clarinet Concerto
Mozart Eine Kleine Nachtmusik
Mozart Overture to the Marriage of Figaro
Mozart Piano Concerto #21, “Elvira Madigan”
Mozart Requiem
Mozart Symphony #38, “Prague”
Mozart Symphony #40
Mozart Symphony #41, “Jupiter”
Mussorgsky Pictures at an Exhibition
Orff Carmina Burana
Pachelbel Canon in D
Ponchielli Dance of the Hours
Prokofiev Peter and the Wolf
Rachmaninov Piano Concerto #2
Rachmaninov Piano Concerto #3
Rachmaninov Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini
Ravel Bolero
Rimsky-Korsakov Capriccio Espagnol
Rimsky-Korsakov Scheherezade
Rossini Barber of Seville Overture
Rossini William Tell Overture
Saint-Saens Carnival of the Animals
Saint-Saens Symphony #3, “Organ”
Schubert Symphony #9, “Great”
Schubert Symphony #8, “Unfinished”
Schubert Trout Quintet
Schumann Symphony #1, “Spring”
Schumann Symphony #3, “Rhenish”
Sibelius Finlandia
Smetana The Moldau
Strauss, J. Jr. The Blue Danube Waltz
Strauss, R. Also Sprach Zarathustra
Tchaikovsky 1812 Overture
Tchaikovsky The Nutcracker
Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto #1
Tchaikovsky Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture
Tchaikovsky Sleeping Beauty
Tchaikovsky Swan Lake
Tchaikovsky Symphony #5
Tchaikovsky Symphony #6, “Pathetique”
Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto
Vaughan Williams Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis
Vaughan Williams The Lark Ascending
Vivaldi Mandolin Concerto in C
Vivaldi The Four Seasons
Wagner Ride of the Valkyries


« Last Edit: September 22, 2015, 10:48:10 AM by USMC1960s »

Offline Lisztianwagner

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Wagner Ride of the Valkyries

I would recommend you not only to listen to the Ride of the Walkyries, but the whole Die Walküre as well as the complete Ring.
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Offline North Star

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Offline Xenophanes

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Wow! This is so different than anything I eveLPted. I admire it.  I sort of started my own collection, after I got away from home, getting recordings of various pieces I liked and moving on to important pieces by composers supposed to be important. Initially, I knew something about opera (the old Met broadcasts with Milton Cross) and classical singers, some symphonies and some keyboard music. I didn't know much about chamber music, choral music, keyboard music (still not a strong point), or ancient music.  I don't think we had anything quite like collecti

ons such as this one. Can you imagine something like that on 78 rpm records? Or even on LPs?

The DG collection actually appears excellent to me, given I have not heard most of those specific recordings and I have my own favorites.  Even at full price on Amazon, it's still only about $2 a CD, so it's an excellent value.

It may take some perseverance and concentration to  get through that many CDs but you seem prepared for that. I hope you enjoy it.

One older book I found interesting, though opinionated, is Harold C. Schonberg's Lives of the Great Composers. It is well written, and you really don't have to agree with his opinions on Mahler and a few others.

http://www.amazon.com/Lives-Great-Composers-Harold-Schonberg/dp/0393038572/ref=la_B000APGJO6_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1451172713&sr=1-1

Another older book I always like was Abraham Veinus, The Concerto (1944, which is also opinionated but it keeps him from  being dull.

http://www.amazon.com/Concerto-Origins-Modern-Dover-Books/dp/0486211789/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1451173238&sr=1-1&keywords=abraham+Veinus

But I am old and not a music historian, and I have made no attempt to keep up with the literature. Actually, I have learned most of what I know of music history from record jackets and CD booklets.

Offline Cato

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Wow! This is so different than anything I eveLPted. I admire it.  I sort of started my own collection, after I got away from home, getting recordings of various pieces I liked and moving on to important pieces by composers supposed to be important. Initially, I knew something about opera (the old Met broadcasts with Milton Cross) and classical singers, some symphonies and some keyboard music. I didn't know much about chamber music, choral music, keyboard music (still not a strong point), or ancient music.  I don't think we had anything quite like collecti

ons such as this one. Can you imagine something like that on 78 rpm records? Or even on LPs?

The DG collection actually appears excellent to me, given I have not heard most of those specific recordings and I have my own favorites.  Even at full price on Amazon, it's still only about $2 a CD, so it's an excellent value.

It may take some perseverance and concentration to  get through that many CDs but you seem prepared for that. I hope you enjoy it.

One older book I found interesting, though opinionated, is Harold C. Schonberg's Lives of the Great Composers. It is well written, and you really don't have to agree with his opinions on Mahler and a few others.

http://www.amazon.com/Lives-Great-Composers-Harold-Schonberg/dp/0393038572/ref=la_B000APGJO6_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1451172713&sr=1-1

Another older book I always like was Abraham Veinus, The Concerto (1944, which is also opinionated but it keeps him from  being dull.

http://www.amazon.com/Concerto-Origins-Modern-Dover-Books/dp/0486211789/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1451173238&sr=1-1&keywords=abraham+Veinus

But I am old and not a music historian, and I have made no attempt to keep up with the literature. Actually, I have learned most of what I know of music history from record jackets and CD booklets.

Many thanks for the remarks!  I appreciate the reference to good old Milton Cross8)

The founder of the topic has not been around GMG for 3 months.  I will send him a message about your nice essay.
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Death metal made me give up classical music. ;)

Offline zamyrabyrd

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I use to listen to metal in my teens and 20s, and found the transition to classical music quite natural.

So, there's still hope for my son (who is not yet out of his 20's)?
“Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, one by one.”

― Charles MacKay, Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds

Offline 71 dB

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That's a fair point. I'm not sure how far into it I will go, although I am interested enough to not only listen to the music but also learn about it in general. Getting to know it's history, context, influence and legacy will make it easier to understand exactly what I'm hearing.

Of course.


I know for sure that I won't be blown away on every first listen. With also music I know it takes time to appreciate these things. It was the same when I was originally getting into death metal.

You will be often bored or frustrated (as with any art), but when you are blown away, it will be a life changing experience.
Spatial distortion is a serious problem deteriorating headphone listening.
Crossfeeders reduce spatial distortion and make the sound more natural
and less tiresome in headphone listening.

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Offline Rinaldo

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I use to listen to metal in my teens and 20s, and found the transition to classical music quite natural.

I'm always surprised when someone mentions how close their 'metal experience' is to classical music. Two completely different worlds and completely separate pleasures for me. Plus I abhor symphonic crossovers that all those kitschy power metal bands love to do. Keep my metal orchestra free, thank you!

The closeness of, say, ambient / noise music and spectralism - that I understand. I think it was my attunement to Brian Eno & electronic music in general that helped me transition to classical (through Feldman, Reich and early Glass).

Offline 71 dB

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I'm always surprised when someone mentions how close their 'metal experience' is to classical music. Two completely different worlds and completely separate pleasures for me. Plus I abhor symphonic crossovers that all those kitschy power metal bands love to do. Keep my metal orchestra free, thank you!

The closeness of, say, ambient / noise music and spectralism - that I understand. I think it was my attunement to Brian Eno & electronic music in general that helped me transition to classical (through Feldman, Reich and early Glass).

I jumped to classical music from electronic dance music: Breakbeat, jungle, drum 'n' bass, house, rave etc. A long jump one could say but it felt natural to me.
Spatial distortion is a serious problem deteriorating headphone listening.
Crossfeeders reduce spatial distortion and make the sound more natural
and less tiresome in headphone listening.

My Sound Cloud page <-- NEW track "Ecclesiastical Secularism"

Offline Monsieur Croche

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A hearty welcome.

A really fine and relatively concise overview history of western music is in the Penguin editions,
History of Western Music, volume two. [Volume one starts in very early history; Volume two starts with the early medieval, runs through to the twentieth century -- that last part very likely expanded and edited since I read it decades ago.]

It traces the development of classical music, harmonic development and shifts of forms, while keeping very much in the limits of the layman, with perhaps your wanting to look up a few terms for further details.

It cites important composers of each era as well as some works which are near to the "embodiment" typifying the essence of the era, and some milestone pieces from various composers that mark some notable influence or trend of a stylistic shift.

When it comes to the names of those eras -- those were named [somewhat arbitrarily] in the mid to late 19th century; the 'modern' era is from ca. 1890 to 1975, and the dully named post-modern era is literal, having nothing to do with 'post-modernism,' but meaning only, 'after modern.' So far, composers have not conveniently shifted the style in which they wrote, nor died conveniently, on or around those set dates for the different eras: those dates are general guidelines, that is all.

The Wikipedia article on Classical Music is extensive, and also more than useful for your intent. It has sub-chapters on each era, composers for each era listed chronologically, and many of those names are active links which will bring you to more about that composer and some of their more essential works.

After that, my friend, Youtube is truly your friend; you can find a lot of classical there from the earliest repertoire to the most recent, audition it, find what interests you and then pursue further as to your plan or whims. When it comes to more specific recommendations, bring them back to the forum. That would include specific recommended recordings as well. Collectively, the members of a forum like this one are one huge resource library.

I've found that those who listen to metal, prog-rock, haus, etc. i.e. music which is solely 'a bunch of notes which make a collective kind of sense [Jazz is included in this same arena] are usually well oiled and primed for easy entry into the classical repertoire, because that is exactly how one listens to classical.

You've been listening to a lead guitar, rhythm and bass guitars, an equivalent of chamber music -- a handful of musicians all directly involved in the fabric of the piece.  I invite you to not forget to explore the chamber music, the trios, quartets, quintets and sextets of all strings, all winds, or mixed instruments, sometimes including piano.  The musical activity is usually much clearer and 'easier' to follow.  Chamber music is a more direct and intimate experience with the individual instruments and instrumental families that also sets you up well for listening to music with full orchestral ensembles.

I envy you in it all being new to your ears, and the experience of exploring, each piece being a discovery.

Have a blast, come back to the forum, please, not just with further questions but also let us in on some of your reactions to the music you've plunged into....

Best regards

P.s. Just for the helluva, try these:

Dmitri Shostakovich - Two pieces for string octet, op. 11 - N. 2 Scherzo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ukvKZqBN808

Bohuslav Martinů:
Toccata e Due Canzoni (1946) I. Toccata
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WMZw0uoRc4w
Double concerto for two string orchestras, piano and tympani
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gh9fkbMfSJA

Arthur Honegger ~ Symphony No. 5
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ibtoWic9GQ8
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UfVP8f7iIMU
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XlJNcfxXRy8

« Last Edit: August 31, 2016, 01:18:36 PM by Monsieur Croche »
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Offline Daverz

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Ideally, I'd like a list of the essential works by the most influential classical composers.

Would 'The History of Classical Music on 100 CDs' be a good place to start? How would you rate it? Is it missing anything?

If you can still make the rent after that outlay, I say go for it.  Being a collector, I think it's more fun to collect in smaller chunks, researching each purchase along the way, but not everyone is into that.

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Some 'metal' classical pieces:

Stravinsky - Rite of Spring
Bartok - Music for Strings Percussion & Celeste
Liszt-Totentanz
Lutoslawski - Piano Concerto
Ligeti - 1st String Quartet
Messiaen - Turangalia Symphony


Offline jochanaan

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...Lutoslawski - Piano Concerto...
Yes, and his Symphony #3.  ;D
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Offline Linus

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Hi, MilesMetal,

I'm thinking Shostakovich (that some have already mentioned) is about as metal as classical music gets, at least his chamber music (take his Cello Concerto No. 1, Op. 107).

The relative disharmony and atonality of fellows like Stravinsky and Bartók (also mentioned) should strike a chord as well.

But what do you really like about metal? The power? The twistedness/gnarliness? The break from verse-chorus pop? Its "horizontality"?

I'm thinking about recommending you some Händel because of the sheer power of his music (Timotheus, Concerti Grossi Op. 6).

Otherwise, I can only say that when I was a complete novice, compilation CDs only bewildered me. I personally think it's better to focus on recommended recordings of single opuses, even at this early stage.

Cheers

Offline Chronochromie

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Ginastera - Piano Concerto No. 1

Offline mjmosca

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Hello Miles-

A great musicologist (Karl Haas) once said "The exploration of Classical Music is a wonderful journey that lasts a lifetime!" - it is so true, may I add to the recommendations that you listen to Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring" as among your first pieces, because of your current music choices. It was written in 1914 and is still shocking! Almost entirely rhythm. And then for something totally different, Wagner's Prelude and Liebestod from "Tristan and Isolde" premiered in 1862 (or thereabouts) - almost without rhythm, and the rhythm it has (in the latter section) can only be described as the sound-track to love making! Then the exploration of the history- there is just so much- and you will have a preview of the vast world of musical developments. have a great time!

Offline nathanb

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Man, you guys totally failed to ask this guy his top 10 death metal albums. Gotta discern his musical values, ya know?

I imagine that, if the OP, like me, preferred Demilich, Incantation, The Chasm, Dead Congregation, early At The Gates, and so on, I'd have different words for him than your standard fan of Death, Cannibal Corpse, and Dying Fetus.

Offline Scion7

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1) get a really good bonfire going in the back yard
2) gather up the so-called 'death metal' stuff
3) as Deep Purple said, Into the Fire . . .

Now that your home is .... de-loused ... you can concentrate on the great metal albums,
and clear your mind for a decent classical collection.
Your barricades lie broken ... your enemies lord.