Author Topic: Why do you like...?  (Read 896 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Symphonic Addict

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3911
Why do you like...?
« on: October 16, 2021, 06:27:18 PM »
I mean. Someone begins mentioning a random work, or a work of their preferences (the first who wants to contribute). For example, xyz user says Bach's Goldberg Variations, or Shostakovich's Symphony No. 8, or Bridge's String Quartet No. 4, etc, etc, etc, and that person gives us their opinion about what they think about the piece. If you can explain with plenty of details, that will be very welcome, of course. Also, it would be also worthy if you mention the only one performance that you would bring to a desert island.

Others can also comment the selections and provide their own works.

I think that would be very much different than creating polls for mentioning works without any type of impressions or thoughts about them (not that they're not worth enjoying). It's just different, and perhaps more interactive.
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

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 58072
  • Jean Sibelius (1865 - 1957)
  • Location: Northeast GA, US
  • Currently Listening to:
    19th Century through the 21st Century
Re: Why do you like...?
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2021, 07:23:54 PM »
I think with any piece that I've come to love it's difficult to put into words as to why it has affected me. It could be the general sound-world the music inhabits, but more often than not, it's the harmony I'm attracted to the most when talking about music. This isn't to say that I don't think melody, harmony, color, texture, structure, etc. aren't important, but if I can hear what the harmony is doing (or even not doing, which makes me want to figure it out), I can find a way into the music. I guess this is why I'm so attracted to composers like Debussy, Ravel, Bartók, Stravinsky and Ives to name a few because it was their unique harmonic language that gave them a distinctive quality. Even as a guitarist, the pieces that I work on have always been created with the harmony in mind first and then everything else I build on top of that (if this makes any sense).
"Humility is society's greatest misconception."

Offline Florestan

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 22323
  • Location: Bucharest, Romania
Re: Why do you like...?
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2021, 04:32:51 AM »
I like Schubert's Piano Sonata D960 and Schumann's Three Romances for Oboe and Piano Op. 94, first and foremost the 2nd one, because the very first time I've ever heard them I was right in the middle of a passionate love affair, with all the corresponding ups and downs, and I felt that they miraculously expressed all my joys, sorrows and hopes. To this very day they never fail to give me goosebumps and even occasionally bring tears to my eyes, although those days are long gone and that love has been long since dead and buried.



"Melody is the essence of music." - Mozart

"Believe nothing you hear, and only one-half that you see." - Edgar Allan Poe

Offline Roasted Swan

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1789
  • Location: UK
Re: Why do you like...?
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2021, 11:43:17 PM »
I think Florestan's referencing an extra-musical experience is very valid.  Of course there is plenty of music I could say I like and give some detailed objective explanation of why but in fact much of the music I love the most has an external/emotional association.  I hear a specific piece and I am transported to the time/place/people I link with that music.   Just as with scent and smells, a couple of bars of a particular piece and I am catapulted back. 

That said there is much music that I find beautiful or moving without prior associations but I understand this is a wholly subjective reaction - albeit with some 'popular' works one shared by many people.  There is a video of Sumi Jo singing the Schubert "Ave Maria" at a recital in Paris shortly after her father died.  She was not able to return to Korea to be with him because of the concert so this is a performance very much sung for him.  For me this is a beautiful song, stunningly sung but with a layer of added emotion that any/all of us who have lost someone close can relate to...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cqoP8rkNIsY

Offline vandermolen

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 22546
  • Location: Rotherfield, Sussex, UK
Re: Why do you like...?
« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2021, 03:08:45 AM »
Cyril Rootham's 2nd Symphony comes to mind. Here's part of an Amazon UK review that I wrote which, I think, explains the appeal of the work to me:

'Well, seven years after the Lyrita CD release of Rootham's bracing and life-affirming First Symphony (recorded initially in 1976) comes the Symphony 2 from 1938 (recorded in 1984) completed a few days before the composer passed away. Compared to the bracing and dynamic First Symphony, the Second Symphony, unsurprisingly perhaps given the circumstances of its composition, is a comparatively tranquil and reflective, though characteristically melodic work, of three movements; a chorus, towards the end, movingly sings a passage from the Revelation of St. John the Divine ('Behold, there shall be no more death...') Rootham's was seriously ill and then dying when he completed the work ten days before he died with the loyal help of his friend and former pupil Patrick Hadley. Rootham had given the premier performance of Hadley's wonderful 'The Trees so High' (do listen to this if you don't know it). I have to say that I found the final section of Rootham's Second Symphony, where the music seems to enter a kind of ethereal/spiritual zone, with the strings playing a repeating eight note passage against the chorus, to be almost unbearably moving but maybe this was partly because I know that the composer was dying as he wrote/orchestrated this passage. The Symphony seems to end in a profound sense of peace and acceptance.'
« Last Edit: October 26, 2021, 03:10:37 AM by vandermolen »
"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 Irons

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3491
  • Location: Surrey, UK
Re: Why do you like...?
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2021, 08:46:08 AM »
Thought long and hard about this. There is one work which I own, must be at least two decades, but it belongs to me. ;) A less apt title then Divertimento for String Trio K.563 is impossible to find, it is like calling a Rembrandt a cartoon! Mozart was a genius and composed many works I love, but K.563 is so special. I would not swap it for all the symphonies. It is like a piece of Dresden porcelain beautifully crafted perfection but vulnerable. Each of the six movements are wonderful in their own right but I wait in anticipation for the last, which always without fail brings the image of a cheery Wolfie with a wave and smile skipping off to the afterlife.   
You must have a very good opinion of yourself to write a symphony - John Ireland.

Offline amw

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 4857
Re: Why do you like...?
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2021, 10:04:07 AM »
I like Schubert's Piano Sonata D960 and Schumann's Three Romances for Oboe and Piano Op. 94, first and foremost the 2nd one, because the very first time I've ever heard them I was right in the middle of a passionate love affair, with all the corresponding ups and downs, and I felt that they miraculously expressed all my joys, sorrows and hopes. To this very day they never fail to give me goosebumps and even occasionally bring tears to my eyes, although those days are long gone and that love has been long since dead and buried.
I think Florestan's referencing an extra-musical experience is very valid.  Of course there is plenty of music I could say I like and give some detailed objective explanation of why but in fact much of the music I love the most has an external/emotional association.  I hear a specific piece and I am transported to the time/place/people I link with that music.   Just as with scent and smells, a couple of bars of a particular piece and I am catapulted back.
This is an interesting perspective. It would never occur to me to link pieces of music to my emotional state at the time I first (or most deeply) encountered them; all of the music that I love is based largely on intrinsic musical characteristics. The creators may have of course been inspired by extramusical experiences in their own lives at the time they created these works, leading to the intrinsic musical characteristics, although composition in my experience is much more complex than that. (Even if a particular piece is based on, e.g., a romantic love affair in your own life and is meant to give the audience a sense of the transcendent ecstasy and joy of love, composition is mostly hard work, and you still have to work on the piece with those intentions in mind during times when you're upset with your lover for constantly leaving dirty dishes in the sink or whatever.) In some cases I was deeply moved by pieces where I only learned the composer's intentions much later, e.g., the Shostakovich Second Piano Trio, which I encountered during an otherwise happy and untroubled period of my life, and which I learned was a memorial for a dead friend many years later. In other cases the intentions are unknowable, as information about the composer's life has not survived, but it's not necessary for me to know what was going through Josquin's head when he wrote the Ave Maria... virgo serena in 1476 to be moved by it.

It's partly that these represent different ways of looking at music; musical training tends to dull one's purely emotional/reactive responses to music (e.g., this music imprinted deeply upon me as a result of x events in my life) while heightening intellectual/proactive responses (e.g., I intentionally sought out this music because I was curious to see how I would respond). But I think people are also just different. Schubert sonatas made me cry as a child, when I wasn't yet old enough to have a true understanding of their emotional content; they don't anymore, generally, but they're also more important to me now than they were then.