Author Topic: Ten (or so) well-known works you don't enjoy that much  (Read 6543 times)

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Offline Biffo

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Re: Ten (or so) well-known works you don't enjoy that much
« Reply #20 on: July 22, 2021, 01:35:30 AM »
The problem with every single adaptation of R&J (Berlioz too) (well...and Shakespeare!) is that the ending is an anticlimax. All the fun stuff happens in the middle, and then at the end you just have a bunch of people being asleep and drinking poisons.

Berlioz' Finale is a large-scale, stirring chorus of reconciliation. It is not the best music in the work but neither is it an anti-climax.

I am not enamoured with R&J from Tchaikovsky and Prokofiev. I have never liked the Tchaikovsky but I keep on accumulating versions of it as part of box sets, most recently from Bernstein and the NYPO. I haven't listened to the latter yet but I don't expect a revelation, even from Lenny.

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Re: Ten (or so) well-known works you don't enjoy that much
« Reply #21 on: July 22, 2021, 07:23:11 AM »
Haydn's London symphonies because I listened to them too much early on.  It is not that I don't like them, but it is much more likely to put on something earlier especially storm and stress or Paris.

Vivaldi's four seasons

Schubert's lieder... it is true that if I find a performance that I like then I love what I'm listening to!  But many performances just leave me cold.  I don't know why that is.

Offline kyjo

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Re: Ten (or so) well-known works you don't enjoy that much
« Reply #22 on: July 22, 2021, 08:53:43 AM »
I don't actively dislike most of these works, I just think they're overplayed and there are many lesser-known works that I enjoy more than them. I agree with a lot of selections made already:

Beethoven: Symphony no. 9
Berlioz: Requiem, Le Damnation de Faust
Brahms: Symphony no. 1
Debussy: Etudes, Estampes
Dvorak: Symphony no. 9
Elgar: Cello Concerto
Schumann: most of the solo piano music aside from the sonatas and the Fantasie in C
Stravinsky: Octet, Dumbarton Oaks
Tchaikovsky: Rococo Variations, Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty (Nutcracker, while hopelessly overplayed, does contain some undoubtedly marvelous music)
Verdi: pretty much anything >:D
« Last Edit: July 22, 2021, 08:59:11 AM by kyjo »
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Offline amw

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Re: Ten (or so) well-known works you don't enjoy that much
« Reply #23 on: July 22, 2021, 10:04:24 AM »
Dvorak: Symphony no. 9
Forgot this one. Will actually outright state that it is a bad symphony. Particularly the finale, but the constant cyclic recurrence of themes from earlier movements is so clumsily done it sours the rest of the piece in retrospect.

Offline Brian

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Re: Ten (or so) well-known works you don't enjoy that much
« Reply #24 on: July 22, 2021, 11:13:30 AM »
Forgot this one. Will actually outright state that it is a bad symphony. Particularly the finale, but the constant cyclic recurrence of themes from earlier movements is so clumsily done it sours the rest of the piece in retrospect.
Not sure about bad but it is his weakest since the Fourth (and the Third was stronger too).

Offline André

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Re: Ten (or so) well-known works you don't enjoy that much
« Reply #25 on: July 22, 2021, 12:46:27 PM »
Bach: Art of Fugue
Beethoven: Grosse Fuge, string orchestra version
Berlioz: Lélio
Bernstein: Kaddish symphony (with the spoken parts)
Machaut, Pérotin, etc - wake me up when you get to Palestrina  ;D
Mahler: 10th symphony
Reich: In C
Shostakovich: symphony no 3
Stravinsky: everything from his serial period
Wagner: Parzzzzzzzifal 😴

As the title of the thread says, I do not enjoy these works very much. On some occasions I will, but most of the time, no. I feel like in the ferris wheel, stuck in the air while every gondola is emptied, one by one. I can’t wait to get off.  :P

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Ten (or so) well-known works you don't enjoy that much
« Reply #26 on: July 22, 2021, 06:26:28 PM »
Reich: In C

Certainly you meant Riley?
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Offline kyjo

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Re: Ten (or so) well-known works you don't enjoy that much
« Reply #27 on: July 22, 2021, 07:03:13 PM »
Forgot this one. Will actually outright state that it is a bad symphony. Particularly the finale, but the constant cyclic recurrence of themes from earlier movements is so clumsily done it sours the rest of the piece in retrospect.

Well put, and I agree. I find the piece to be formally rather unsatisfyingly and unsubtly constructed, which is unusual considering I typically find Dvorak to be an absolute master of form - witness the 8th Symphony, Cello Concerto, and other works written around the same time.
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Ten (or so) well-known works you don't enjoy that much
« Reply #28 on: July 22, 2021, 07:20:50 PM »
Well put, and I agree. I find the piece to be formally rather unsatisfyingly and unsubtly constructed, which is unusual considering I typically find Dvorak to be an absolute master of form - witness the 8th Symphony, Cello Concerto, and other works written around the same time.

I concur. I’m also no great fan of Dvořák’s 9th. :-[ Like you, I love this composer, but, man, he completely hammed it up in this symphony I’m afraid. It’s overrated, overplayed and most of all, it’s just not that convincing of a work.
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Online vandermolen

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Re: Ten (or so) well-known works you don't enjoy that much
« Reply #29 on: July 22, 2021, 08:59:17 PM »
Strauss: Heldenleben (same reason as Jo498) - the same goes for 'An Alpine Symphony' (I find 'In the Tatras' by Novak, for example, a much greater 'mountaineering work' although it is far shorter).
Prokofiev: Classical Symphony
Bartok: Concerto for Orchestra (a great work but lost its appeal through over-familiarity)
VW: Serenade to Music (vocal version) (cloying, self-congratulatory)  :o
Bernstein: Chichester Psalms (cloying, though, as with VW, I greatly admire his work generally)
Chopin (generally)
Schuman (generally)
New Year's Day Concert from Vienna (other than 'The Blue Danube')
Gottschalk: 'Night in the Tropics' (big disappointment)
Mozart: 'Cosi fan tutte' + all the other operas.

I know you'll all agree  8)
« Last Edit: July 22, 2021, 09:11:18 PM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

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Offline Jo498

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Re: Ten (or so) well-known works you don't enjoy that much
« Reply #30 on: July 22, 2021, 11:21:37 PM »
Mahler: 10th symphony
That's a similar, probably worse case than the Mozart Requiem for me. Not quite the otherwordly status. But again, the completed part is great or at least on the level of the composer and hinting at what might have been. The reconstructed parts rather uneven etc.
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Offline Crudblud

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Re: Ten (or so) well-known works you don't enjoy that much
« Reply #31 on: July 23, 2021, 12:33:12 AM »
I will stick to instrumental/concert music, otherwise the whole thing will be nothing but famous operas.

Stravinsky - Le Sacre du printemps
Debussy - Études
Berlioz - Symphonie fantastique
Brahms - Symphony No. 4
Reich - Music for Eighteen Musicians
Gorecki - Symphony No. 3
Beethoven - Violin Concerto
Vaughan Williams - The Lark Ascending
Wagner - Siegfried Idyll
Strauss - Ein Heldenleben

P.S.: A note on Mahler's Tenth. There are no truly satisfying "completions", but I think those who are disappointed with the ubiquitous Cooke version might find the Barshai version more agreeable. I would say the orchestration there is more in line with the "Mahlerian spirit" than any other.

Offline amw

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Re: Ten (or so) well-known works you don't enjoy that much
« Reply #32 on: July 23, 2021, 12:55:26 AM »
P.S.: A note on Mahler's Tenth. There are no truly satisfying "completions", but I think those who are disappointed with the ubiquitous Cooke version might find the Barshai version more agreeable. I would say the orchestration there is more in line with the "Mahlerian spirit" than any other.
Given that I almost never listen to Mahler 10 I was very surprised to find that I somehow have both the arranger's own recording and another one by Vladimir Ashkenazy. I will have to listen to them someday. Maybe next year.

Not sure about bad but it is his weakest since the Fourth (and the Third was stronger too).
The Fourth has over time become one of my very favourite Dvořák symphonies, but that is a topic for another thread.

I would rate the Ninth ahead of the Second, maybe, just since that's the one symphony I can never remember anything about; I'd probably at this point put even the First ahead of it. With all that said, the first movement of the Ninth is fine, at least as good as some other second-tier late Dvořák (The Hero's Song, etc,) as are the first six or seven minutes of the second movement.... until the cyclic references start turning up. I dunno. Maybe I'm just being unduly harsh because this was the first Dvořák piece I heard and made me write him off altogether as a composer, then I heard the other eight symphonies, the concertos, mature chamber music, symphonic poems and overtures etc, and developed an extremely high opinion of him, and then came back to the Ninth and was somehow almost offended. It's like, I expected better!

For the "great works" that have cloyed through overexposure, I've found what's most helpful is very tightly curating my own musical experiences: I rarely go to concerts, I don't listen to the radio, and almost everything I listen to comes from my music library, which I try to keep as comprehensive as possible. The ability to randomise albums/classical works for playback, and to designate smart playlists only covering the particular musical topics I'm interested in at the moment, does well at keeping my focus off the overplayed warhorses, or for that matter my personal favourites. As such, this has allowed for things like rediscovering the Beethoven symphonies long after dismissing them as overfamiliar, simply because after a few years of not hearing them, they aren't overfamiliar anymore, and etc. But I recognise that this is not how many people prefer to consume music.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2021, 01:05:56 AM by amw »

Offline Pohjolas Daughter

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Re: Ten (or so) well-known works you don't enjoy that much
« Reply #33 on: July 23, 2021, 02:37:21 AM »
My list so far....

Bizet's Carmen - heard too many times
Vivaldi's Four Seasons  - same
Pachelbel's Canon - same
Orff's Carmina Burana - not my cup of tea
Bach's Brandenburg Concertos - need a break from

PD

Offline Brian

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Re: Ten (or so) well-known works you don't enjoy that much
« Reply #34 on: July 23, 2021, 07:52:31 AM »
The Fourth has over time become one of my very favourite Dvořák symphonies, but that is a topic for another thread.
A thread I'll happily read! (Maybe over in "Dvorak's Den".)

For the "great works" that have cloyed through overexposure, I've found what's most helpful is very tightly curating my own musical experiences: I rarely go to concerts, I don't listen to the radio, and almost everything I listen to comes from my music library, which I try to keep as comprehensive as possible.
Agreed - I don't listen to any radio and although I go to 4-6 orchestral concerts a year, having a world-class (even if it's like, B Tier globally) orchestra in town means the luxury of choosing the concerts that most closely align with my interests. It's always surprising to read people saying that they've heard something too many times...and then I remember that radio exists.

Offline Crudblud

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Re: Ten (or so) well-known works you don't enjoy that much
« Reply #35 on: July 23, 2021, 08:10:54 AM »
Given that I almost never listen to Mahler 10 I was very surprised to find that I somehow have both the arranger's own recording and another one by Vladimir Ashkenazy. I will have to listen to them someday. Maybe next year.
Definitely worth a look. Barshai's own is my preference, although the recording quality is strange. I don't know enough about audio engineering to say what the problem is, but "blown out" is the phrase that most readily comes to mind. Odd, considering the Fifth it accompanies is such a triumph of both artistic and technical execution. Ashkenazy has more balanced audio but he seems occasionally to second guess Barshai (and indeed everyone else) and make some changes of his own—the choice of percussion in the opening of the finale is especially baffling.

Online vandermolen

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Re: Ten (or so) well-known works you don't enjoy that much
« Reply #36 on: July 23, 2021, 12:07:32 PM »
My list so far....

Bizet's Carmen - heard too many times
Vivaldi's Four Seasons  - same
Pachelbel's Canon - same
Orff's Carmina Burana - not my cup of tea
Bach's Brandenburg Concertos - need a break from

PD
Largely agree with these choices.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Symphonic Addict

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Re: Ten (or so) well-known works you don't enjoy that much
« Reply #37 on: July 23, 2021, 06:46:34 PM »
I can already tell this thread is going to be upsetting  ;D ;D

Bach - the really long big sacred pieces
Beethoven - Piano Concerto No. 3*
Beethoven - Violin Concerto*
Granados - Goyescas
Mahler - Symphony No. 5 (except the adagietto)
Mozart - Requiem
Orff - Carmina Burana
Ravel - Valses nobles et sentimentales
Schumann - Piano Concerto
Second Viennese School

I second the Mozart and Schumann. I've never been attracted to these pieces despite their huge popularity.
Give us something else; give us something new; for Heaven's sake give us something bad, so long as we feel we are alive and active and not just passive admirers of tradition!

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Offline Symphonic Addict

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Re: Ten (or so) well-known works you don't enjoy that much
« Reply #38 on: July 23, 2021, 06:49:25 PM »
Orff Carmina Burana
Bach Brandenburg Concertos
Vivaldi Four Seasons
Brahms Symphonies
Strauss Salome
Almost anything that can be "Darmstadt School"

The first four are victims of burnout syndrome: I've heard them so many times in my life I rarely want to hear them again.

That happens very often to me with other works too, so I prefer not to saturate myself by listening to them.
Give us something else; give us something new; for Heaven's sake give us something bad, so long as we feel we are alive and active and not just passive admirers of tradition!

Carl Nielsen

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Ten (or so) well-known works you don't enjoy that much
« Reply #39 on: July 23, 2021, 06:52:44 PM »
Count me as another who doesn’t like Mahler’s 10th. I love Mahler, but, I’m sorry, I believe Cooke, Carpenter or whoever else did their own version of the 10th, should’ve left it alone.
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