Author Topic: Famous people's preferred classical music  (Read 1711 times)

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Online Brian

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Famous people's preferred classical music
« on: August 04, 2021, 01:05:39 PM »
The idea for this thread - the classical listening habits of non-musical great artists, leaders, etc - came to me this afternoon while I visited the house of Mexican architect Luis Barragán. Barragán pioneered a modernist yet emotional style where natural light, filtered through colored windows, played a major role, and where simple lines concealed an almost OCD attention to detail. I'll post some photos of his work at the bottom of this post.

But in his house, he kept four record players. One in his bedroom, one in the guest room, one in the living room, and one in his private den, which was just above the living room but cleverly concealed behind a partial wall. (You could throw a paper airplane or, as he did, eavesdrop on his guests.  ;D )

Records on his shelf in the den included:
Vivaldi Four Seasons
Vivaldi mixed concertos
Shostakovich 10 - Mitropoulos
Grieg concerto - Rubinstein
Rachmaninov rhapsody + 2 - Yakov Zak
African folk drumming (multiple)
Grofé Grand Canyon Suite (!!!! Hello Cato)

Records on his shelf in his bedroom included:
Bartók concerto & duos - Menuhin (concerto not numbered)
Scarlatti - Kirkpatrick harpsichord box set
Mahler 8 - Solti
Penderecki - complete operas composed in Barragán's lifetime (up to the late 80s)

So if you listen to Mahler 8 and Penderecki in bed, you might just be a great architect!!  :o






Offline Pohjolas Daughter

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Re: Famous people's preferred classical music
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2021, 02:52:08 AM »
The idea for this thread - the classical listening habits of non-musical great artists, leaders, etc - came to me this afternoon while I visited the house of Mexican architect Luis Barragán. Barragán pioneered a modernist yet emotional style where natural light, filtered through colored windows, played a major role, and where simple lines concealed an almost OCD attention to detail. I'll post some photos of his work at the bottom of this post.

But in his house, he kept four record players. One in his bedroom, one in the guest room, one in the living room, and one in his private den, which was just above the living room but cleverly concealed behind a partial wall. (You could throw a paper airplane or, as he did, eavesdrop on his guests.  ;D )

Records on his shelf in the den included:
Vivaldi Four Seasons
Vivaldi mixed concertos
Shostakovich 10 - Mitropoulos
Grieg concerto - Rubinstein
Rachmaninov rhapsody + 2 - Yakov Zak
African folk drumming (multiple)
Grofé Grand Canyon Suite (!!!! Hello Cato)

Records on his shelf in his bedroom included:
Bartók concerto & duos - Menuhin (concerto not numbered)
Scarlatti - Kirkpatrick harpsichord box set
Mahler 8 - Solti
Penderecki - complete operas composed in Barragán's lifetime (up to the late 80s)

So if you listen to Mahler 8 and Penderecki in bed, you might just be a great architect!!  :o






Very cool house!  I looked at some more images of it online too.   8)  Question:  what is that area/room with the blue and white and what looks to be a red wall?

You do realize, that he could (and probably did) move records around his house and listen to them in any room that he chose?  :)  In any event, not surprising that he liked listening to a fair bit of modern music considering his style....but also nice to see that he mixed it up with some older and some early works too.  Did he keep a diary?  If so, did he mention music in it?  You could also check to see what friends/family/folks who knew him wrote.

Interesting idea for a thread Brian.  Looking forward to seeing what kind of responses you get here.

PD

Offline Archaic Torso of Apollo

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Re: Famous people's preferred classical music
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2021, 05:43:47 AM »
Interesting topic. There was a well-known novelist (unfortunately I don't remember who it was, I read this in a newspaper interview) who said he liked to write to the music of Bartok and Janacek. Something about the peculiar rhythms of that music having an effect on his prose.


But in his house, he kept four record players.

So he's a vinylist?
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"Who knows not strict counterpoint, lives and dies an ignoramus" - CPE Bach

Offline T. D.

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Re: Famous people's preferred classical music
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2021, 05:52:11 AM »
Slightly OT, but there are well-known photos of Steve McQueen's living room with a number of albums scattered on the floor. Many posts on jazz forums had fun trying to identify the albums.

It'd be interesting to find some photos of celebrities' homes that include classical record collections.
For instance, here's a pic of some of Jimi Hendrix's collection including Holst's The Planets and Handel's Messiah:



More at https://handelhendrix.org/learn/about-hendrix/jimi-hendrixs-record-collection/ , though there's not much classical.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2021, 07:02:52 AM by T. D. »

Offline Pohjolas Daughter

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Re: Famous people's preferred classical music
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2021, 09:50:10 AM »
Interesting topic. There was a well-known novelist (unfortunately I don't remember who it was, I read this in a newspaper interview) who said he liked to write to the music of Bartok and Janacek. Something about the peculiar rhythms of that music having an effect on his prose.

So he's a vinylist?
Apparently he died in 1988, so he might not have yet acquired one?  I did also read that a friend of his inherited his personal effects--perhaps that might also have included his 'newish' CD player (if he had one then) and CDs?

Slightly OT, but there are well-known photos of Steve McQueen's living room with a number of albums scattered on the floor. Many posts on jazz forums had fun trying to identify the albums.

It'd be interesting to find some photos of celebrities' homes that include classical record collections.
For instance, here's a pic of some of Jimi Hendrix's collection including Holst's The Planets and Handel's Messiah:



More at https://handelhendrix.org/learn/about-hendrix/jimi-hendrixs-record-collection/ , though there's not much classical.
Neat!  I'll check out that link a bit later.

PD

p.s.  I remember years ago reading an article in Gramophone Magazine (forget what the name of that column was) but it was about how he, Robert Redford became interested in music--jazz in particular due to a rather Auntie Mame-sounding kind of aunt.

Does anyone here remember the name of that column?  It was always located in the back of the magazine (perhaps last page) and well-known people wrote about how they were introduced to classical music, jazz, etc.  He wrote it between, I'm guessing here, about 10-20 years ago.  If anyone here has a subscription to Gramophone, you could probably look it up.  Ah!  I just looked through a bunch of old G's that I had which were going into the paper recycling bin:  the column was called "My Music".

Offline Archaic Torso of Apollo

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Re: Famous people's preferred classical music
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2021, 09:53:38 AM »
Apparently he died in 1988, so he might not have yet acquired one?  I did also read that a friend of his inherited his personal effects--perhaps that might also have included his 'newish' CD player (if he had one then) and CDs?
Neat!  I'll check out that link a bit later.


Apparently I misunderstood. I thought the guy was still alive and Brian was visiting him in his house, or something like that.
formerly VELIMIR (before that, Spitvalve)

"Who knows not strict counterpoint, lives and dies an ignoramus" - CPE Bach

Offline T. D.

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Re: Famous people's preferred classical music
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2021, 10:02:53 AM »
There was once a big article about David Bowie's record collection:

https://www.vanityfair.com/culture/2016/04/david-bowie-favorite-albums

Eclectic classical items: Reich, R. Strauss, Crumb, Partch, Stravinsky.

Offline Pohjolas Daughter

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Re: Famous people's preferred classical music
« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2021, 10:03:51 AM »
Apparently I misunderstood. I thought the guy was still alive and Brian was visiting him in his house, or something like that.
I suspect that he went on a paid tour of the architect's house (now that Covid restrictions have eased up in some areas)  ;):

http://www.casaluisbarragan.org/eng/en_index.html

I did find a link on Gramophone's website to two pages worth of links (clicked on "My Music") here:  https://www.gramophone.co.uk/my-music

You can only go back so far though without have a digital subscription.

PD


Offline Pohjolas Daughter

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Re: Famous people's preferred classical music
« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2021, 10:05:03 AM »
There was once a big article about David Bowie's record collection:

https://www.vanityfair.com/culture/2016/04/david-bowie-favorite-albums

Eclectic classical items: Reich, R. Strauss, Crumb, Partch, Stravinsky.
Nice!  Will have to add that to nighttime reading list.  :)

PD

Offline Archaic Torso of Apollo

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Re: Famous people's preferred classical music
« Reply #9 on: August 05, 2021, 11:18:11 AM »
I read somewhere that Mick Jagger had 37 different recordings of the Eroica.
formerly VELIMIR (before that, Spitvalve)

"Who knows not strict counterpoint, lives and dies an ignoramus" - CPE Bach

Online Brian

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Re: Famous people's preferred classical music
« Reply #10 on: August 05, 2021, 12:25:28 PM »
So glad this took off! Fun reading the other contributions.

Yes, Barragán died in 1988 and for a few years before that he had Parkinson's and stayed confined in bed, with nurses.

So of course he - or curators of the museum after his death - could have moved all the records around. But I wonder or imagine if the bedroom collection represented his "final preferences"...?

Very cool house!  I looked at some more images of it online too.   8)  Question:  what is that area/room with the blue and white and what looks to be a red wall?
That was a different building I didn't visit unfortunately!

Offline flyingdutchman

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Re: Famous people's preferred classical music
« Reply #11 on: August 05, 2021, 01:12:02 PM »
Since I am famous in my own mind as a writer, I wrote my graduate school papers to Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No. 2 :laugh:

Sorry, a little levity.

Offline david johnson

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Re: Famous people's preferred classical music
« Reply #12 on: August 05, 2021, 08:41:12 PM »
Hey, I have two short stories published and a novel at the publisher now.  I wrote the stories while listening to "Tubular Bells".  I don'
t know what possessed me  ;)

Offline T. D.

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Re: Famous people's preferred classical music
« Reply #13 on: August 06, 2021, 06:19:21 AM »
Likely doesn't qualify as a "famous person", but Levon Aronian, one of the top chess grandmasters, is a highly knowledgeable music enthusiast, both classical and jazz.
Google will provide many links regarding Aronian and music. I'm also impressed by his jazz erudition, but that's a subject for another place/time.

Classical music discussion in this long interview (warning, mostly chess-related): https://en.chessbase.com/post/levon-aronian-s-armenian-interview

Relevant excerpt:

MG: What is your hobby?

LA: Ah, well, something that helps a chess player, in my opinion it’s music. When I was young I would attend a chess club and take piano lessons, but in the early 90s I needed to make a choice. I chose chess, but nevertheless my second self always draws me to classical music.

MG: Classical music?

LA: Mostly, yes.

MG: Piano, symphonic?

LA: Not specifically only that, I am interested in every genre.

MG: Classical music is a huge area and I can hardly imagine that you could be interested in all of that. Are there any favourites?

LA: Well, I do not have vast experience, I have been interested in classical music for about 10 years perhaps, and am still interested in the work of people who lived and created in the past. I do not know today's musicians, but I like many conductors such as Fürtwaengler [conductor/composer Wilhelm Fürtwaengler 1886-1984 -Ed.], I like his works very much, also Klemperer [conductor/composer Otto Klemperer 1885-1973 -Ed.]. From musicians I like Oistrakh [Violinist David Oistrakh 1908-1974 -Ed.].

MG: Tigran Mansuryan said that you know classical music well, and that you know it at the level of an expert.

LA: (smiles) I have a high regard for Mr Mansuryan, and he might have wanted to flatter
me a little (laughing). I have little knowledge but a keen interest in music. I really like conversing with him, asking him questions. I learned about symphonic music from him. I am a big fan of Bruckner’s work, he respects that (laughing) and we sometimes talk about it.

MG: What does classical music do for you?

LA: Well, when I study chess alone (lately I have been working by myself), I give some material to my assistant Ashot Nadanian. He works next to me, and I work next to him, and I need some music which has a mathematical form like chess, and obviously names such as Bach, Bruckner and Beethoven come up, whose music continuously goes forward and it inspires and helps me to make my work less boring.

MG:  Therefore not so much the romantic period music, because that mathematical precision might be reduced to emotional effect?

LA: No, I do listen to different genres of music; I listen a lot to Shostakovich and Mahler, but when I concentrate a little on the late baroque genre it is closer to my heart, because you follow the music, it flows like water, and you don’t need to concentrate much on every single sound.

MG: You are a very modest person.

LA: (laughing) No, I don’t think so, I just know my values, my strengths and weaknesses.

MG: I mention your modesty because you have a broad enough knowledge of music and I can see your expertise (LA laughing), an expertise on a larger scale, but you say that you are not quite so in music…

LA: Well, I learn something new each day, I try to improve every day. Lately I’ve been concentrating on concertos. I like them very much, and a couple of days ago I was listening to Britten’s violin concerto and I thought to myself how strange, if you did not know who
the composer was then you would think it was Prokofiev’s work. It sounds like Prokofiev’s violin concerto no 3 [Prokofiev has only two violin concerto -Ed.]. I always spend each day in search of new ideas in chess or music.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2021, 06:39:46 AM by T. D. »

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Famous people's preferred classical music
« Reply #14 on: August 07, 2021, 04:23:03 AM »
Frank Sinatra liked the music of Vaughan Williams.
"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 Pohjolas Daughter

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Re: Famous people's preferred classical music
« Reply #15 on: August 07, 2021, 05:18:30 AM »
Hey, I have two short stories published and a novel at the publisher now.  I wrote the stories while listening to "Tubular Bells".  I don'
t know what possessed me  ;)
Boo! lol

Likely doesn't qualify as a "famous person", but Levon Aronian, one of the top chess grandmasters, is a highly knowledgeable music enthusiast, both classical and jazz.
Google will provide many links regarding Aronian and music. I'm also impressed by his jazz erudition, but that's a subject for another place/time.

Classical music discussion in this long interview (warning, mostly chess-related): https://en.chessbase.com/post/levon-aronian-s-armenian-interview


Thanks for those excerpts...quite interesting!

Frank Sinatra liked the music of Vaughan Williams.
I knew that there was more than one reason why I liked "Ole Blue Eyes"!  :)

PD

Offline Florestan

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Re: Famous people's preferred classical music
« Reply #16 on: August 07, 2021, 06:25:43 AM »
Delacroix: Mozart & Cimarosa
Ingres: Beethoven
Balzac: Rossini
Heinrich Heine: Rossini
Schopenhauer: Mozart & Rossini
Karl Barth: Mozart
Emil Brunner: Beethoven

et pour la bonne bouche  >:D

Hans Frank: Schubert
"Beauty must appeal to the senses, must provide us with immediate enjoyment, must impress us or insinuate itself into us without any effort on our part."
 --- Claude Debussy

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Famous people's preferred classical music
« Reply #17 on: August 08, 2021, 04:20:03 AM »
Delacroix: Mozart & Cimarosa
Ingres: Beethoven
Balzac: Rossini
Heinrich Heine: Rossini
Schopenhauer: Mozart & Rossini
Karl Barth: Mozart
Emil Brunner: Beethoven

et pour la bonne bouche  >:D

Hans Frank: Schubert
According to a drama I watched Reynard Heydrich ('The Butcher of Prague') was also a Schubert admirer and then there is, of course, Hitler and Wagner, but maybe these are for the 'Infamous people' thread  >:D
I'm currently reading 'The Father A Revenge' by that admirable German journalist Niklas Frank (son of Hans).
"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 vandermolen

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Re: Famous people's preferred classical music
« Reply #18 on: August 08, 2021, 04:23:20 AM »
Boo! lol
Thanks for those excerpts...quite interesting!
I knew that there was more than one reason why I liked "Ole Blue Eyes"!  :)

PD
I'm sorry that my Dad is not around to know about Sinatra, as he listened almost exclusively to his music and I listened almost exclusively to VW in those far-off days.
"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 Pohjolas Daughter

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Re: Famous people's preferred classical music
« Reply #19 on: August 08, 2021, 05:05:35 AM »
I'm sorry that my Dad is not around to know about Sinatra, as he listened almost exclusively to his music and I listened almost exclusively to VW in those far-off days.
That's a shame.  :(

PD