Where can I learn about 'bests'?

Started by ShineyMcShineShine, March 02, 2016, 07:25:39 AM

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ShineyMcShineShine

Quote from: (poco) Sforzando on March 05, 2016, 08:45:06 AM
I can't disagree with any of this, really. We all have our own way of getting into this music, and there's no one formula that works for all. I think the OP simply wanted some starting point for what are the most-recognized pieces, but that doesn't mean he has to or will start working through anybody's list in a mechanical fashion. Sooner or later he'll find what he feels is worth seeking out, and eventually he will like all the rest of us form his own listening personality.

Actually, I have already formed my listening personality. Although I described myself as a neophyte, I've been listening to classical music for nearly 20 years (yikes!). It's only been in the past few years that I became serious about it, but I've always been guided by my own taste. Confronted by the enormity of the canon, I decided that the best way to approach it was to identify what I liked and follow that thread. That method has resulted in much enjoyment, but one consequence is that so far I have neglected most of the 'masterpieces'.

Mirror Image

Quote from: ShineyMcShineShine on March 05, 2016, 12:50:59 PM
Actually, I have already formed my listening personality. Although I described myself as a neophyte, I've been listening to classical music for nearly 20 years (yikes!). It's only been in the past few years that I became serious about it, but I've always been guided by my own taste. Confronted by the enormity of the canon, I decided that the best way to approach it was to identify what I liked and follow that thread. That method has resulted in much enjoyment, but one consequence is that so far I have neglected most of the 'masterpieces'.

I can certainly relate to this approach. I was never a listener who cared much about hearing the masterpieces or even worrying about who the alleged 'greatest' composers were. I simply forged my own path based on the sounds I was allured by. Bartok and Ives were the first two composers I became serious about. The rest, as they say, is history. 8)

(poco) Sforzando

Quote from: Mirror Image on March 05, 2016, 07:51:37 PM
I can certainly relate to this approach. I was never a listener who cared much about hearing the masterpieces or even worrying about who the alleged 'greatest' composers were. I simply forged my own path based on the sounds I was allured by. Bartok and Ives were the first two composers I became serious about. The rest, as they say, is history. 8)

And yet if we look at your list of composers you are now listening to at left, most of them fall under the heading of "some of the 'alleged' greatest composers." As I said above, like it or not our tastes are already circumscribed by what is available and what performers want to play.
"I don't know what sforzando means, though it clearly means something."

Mirror Image

Quote from: (poco) Sforzando on March 06, 2016, 03:02:30 AM
And yet if we look at your list of composers you are now listening to at left, most of them fall under the heading of "some of the 'alleged' greatest composers." As I said above, like it or not our tastes are already circumscribed by what is available and what performers want to play.

Sure, well we can't listen to composers who haven't been performed/recorded, but all I'm saying is I didn't follow any trends and stuck to the kinds of sounds I was drawn towards, which is a pretty singular way of going about things, but I didn't come from a classical background and jazz was very much in my mind for 15 years before I took classical seriously.

Jo498

A beginner does never come from a classical background, that's in the definition. ;)
And as individual as you may be, it's simply more likely to encounter (and be drawn to) Bartok before Kodaly, Ives before Ruggles, because they are more famous composers. And this fame has not been decided on by any individual person but has been established within decades by many musicians, critics, other composers, audiences...
So even in our very personal tastes we stand "on the shoulders of giants" or not even giants, just many other musicians and music lovers who influenced what music comes to our attention
Tout le malheur des hommes vient d'une seule chose, qui est de ne savoir pas demeurer en repos, dans une chambre.
- Blaise Pascal

Mirror Image

Quote from: Jo498 on March 06, 2016, 07:51:56 AM
A beginner does never come from a classical background, that's in the definition. ;)
And as individual as you may be, it's simply more likely to encounter (and be drawn to) Bartok before Kodaly, Ives before Ruggles, because they are more famous composers. And this fame has not been decided on by any individual person but has been established within decades by many musicians, critics, other composers, audiences...
So even in our very personal tastes we stand "on the shoulders of giants" or not even giants, just many other musicians and music lovers who influenced what music comes to our attention

But what I'm saying is I didn't grow up with classical music unlike many listeners who have had early experiences in their lives where appreciating, and following, the music was much easier (and this could be because of your parents, siblings, or a relative that introduced the music to you). As for all of this talk about 'standing on the shoulders of giants,' I think that's pretty much common sense for anyone who gets into this music and a fact that I never refuted to begin with. I didn't hear Szymanowski until I heard Bartok or Debussy and there's countless examples of this, not only through my own listening experiences, but I'm sure for many other listeners as well.

ShineyMcShineShine

Quote from: (poco) Sforzando on March 06, 2016, 03:02:30 AM
And yet if we look at your list of composers you are now listening to at left, most of them fall under the heading of "some of the 'alleged' greatest composers." As I said above, like it or not our tastes are already circumscribed by what is available and what performers want to play.

Or is it possible that he's listening to the greatest composers because they are the most interesting and enjoyable? This is a question that this thread has raised in my mind: if you aren't listening to the 'best', why not? Is it because you've become bored with the best and moved on to new territory, or is it because you don't find the best enjoyable or interesting?