GMG Classical Music Forum

The Music Room => General Classical Music Discussion => Topic started by: The Six on November 11, 2011, 11:32:51 AM

Title: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: The Six on November 11, 2011, 11:32:51 AM
This thread is a haven where you can go against the grain without fear of persecution. Let it all out.

The Classical Era is my least favorite era. I'm generalizing, but the diatonicism is banal to me. Generally if I can hum along to a melody the first time I hear it, it's not very interesting. I like chromaticism more as part of the harmony, as opposed to simple ornamentation.  I think this era may have the biggest lack of depth as far as relevant composers go, i.e., after the greats the drop-off is pretty big.

Domenico Scarlatti is a giant of music who was ahead of his time. This probably wouldn't qualify as unpopular if his works received more attention. I've heard people say that Bach is the only Baroque composer worth noting.

Rachmaninoff's orchestral music far surpasses his piano work, including the concertos (though obviously there's overlap there). After Alkan and Liszt I don't have much use for that style of virtuoso piano music. Those symphonies, though, are exquisite.

Beethoven is long-winded. Still one of my favorites, but it's pretty tough to slog through a lot of those slow movements. I mean, we get it already. Move on. And then the repeats!
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Todd on November 11, 2011, 11:49:59 AM
Beethoven is long-winded. Still one of my favorites, but it's pretty tough to slog through a lot of those slow movements. I mean, we get it already. Move on. And then the repeats!



 :'(
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Cato on November 11, 2011, 12:15:19 PM
This thread is a haven where you can go against the grain without fear of persecution. Let it all out.

The Classical Era is my least favorite era. I'm generalizing, but the diatonicism is banal to me. Generally if I can hum along to a melody the first time I hear it, it's not very interesting. I like chromaticism more as part of the harmony, as opposed to simple ornamentation.  I think this era may have the biggest lack of depth as far as relevant composers go, i.e., after the greats the drop-off is pretty big.


I must admit that my CD collection is thin on the era as well.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: 71 dB on November 11, 2011, 12:25:00 PM
The Classical Era is my least favorite era.

I don't have much against the classical era (it has it's own strengths) but German middle baroque is a sadly ignored period in music history. More attention to Kuhnau, less attention to Haydn.

Domenico Scarlatti is a giant of music who was ahead of his time.

Domenico's father Alessandro was a damn good composer too (600 chamber cantatas).


I've heard people say that Bach is the only Baroque composer worth noting.

That's because people are so damn stupid and ignorant. There are dozens of substantial (but often unknown) baroque composers. I'll mention just one: Gottfried Heinrich Stölzel (1690-1749), who's chamber cantatas I am exploring at the moment. Absolutely awesome stuff!  :o

Rachmaninoff's orchestral music far surpasses his piano work, including the concertos (though obviously there's overlap there). After Alkan and Liszt I don't have much use for that style of virtuoso piano music. Those symphonies, though, are exquisite.

I don't find Rachmaninov's music that interesting apart from his best work: The Bells, Op. 35. His teacher, S.I. Taneyev is much more interesting composer.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Lethevich on November 11, 2011, 12:27:53 PM
Chamber music is more interesting than orchestral music.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on November 11, 2011, 12:44:51 PM
Chamber music is more interesting than orchestral music.

I thought everybody knew that ; )
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: DavidRoss on November 11, 2011, 12:44:57 PM
Mozart was a hack who didn't really write the music attributed to him.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Jared on November 11, 2011, 12:46:16 PM
I thought everybody knew that ; )

they are both fascinating... considerably more so than opera...  ;D
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on November 11, 2011, 12:49:54 PM
I probably like Monk's Columbia albums even better than the earlier stuff.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: chasmaniac on November 11, 2011, 01:01:09 PM
I probably like Monk's Columbia albums even better than the earlier stuff.

Now that's an underground opinion if ever I've heard one!  :D
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Daverz on November 11, 2011, 01:18:26 PM
Beethoven is long-winded. Still one of my favorites, but it's pretty tough to slog through a lot of those slow movements. I mean, we get it already. Move on. And then the repeats!

The only Beethoven slow movements that I have problems with are in the Eroica and the 9th.  In particular the adagio of the 9th doesn't seem to have interesting enough themes for its length. 
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Daverz on November 11, 2011, 01:20:27 PM
Mozart was a hack who didn't really write the music attributed to him.

His music was really composed by Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Gurn Blanston on November 11, 2011, 01:30:29 PM
More attention to Kuhnau, less attention to Haydn.

Domenico's father Alessandro was a damn good composer too (600 chamber cantatas).

I don't care for Bach, Johann Sebastian. Freakin' boring. ::)  If it's Baroque it's Vivaldi or Biber. Just sayin'... :)

I don't care for Kuhnau. I'll take Haydn any day (over most anyone).

Beethoven is the 3rd best composer around, after Haydn and Mozart. How can he seem long-winded after you've listened to Bach?

There are probably only a half-dozen composers after Schubert died who are worth spending my money on. And not of lot of it.

Are those unpopular enough for you?  :D

8)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: zmic on November 11, 2011, 02:10:47 PM
This thread is a haven where you can go against the grain without fear of persecution. Let it all out.

1. The Goldberg Variations are the only boring thing that Bach ever wrote.
2. After Beethoven, only Mahler wrote symphonies that are worth listening too.
3. Glenn Gould's recording of Mozart's piano sonatas are actually quite enjoyable.

I feel so much better now!

Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: mszczuj on November 11, 2011, 02:17:36 PM
What I really hate is when musicians perform some notes identically only because they are identical.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: chasmaniac on November 11, 2011, 02:20:43 PM
I'm inclined to lean, now and again, towards a slight tilt shadingly away from--

No, I just can't do it!  :D
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: mszczuj on November 11, 2011, 02:31:13 PM
There are probably only a half-dozen composers after Schubert died who are worth spending my money on.

There are probably less than a half-dozen recordings of music composed not by Schubert which are worth spending my money on.

Not because of music quality but because of basic concepts about interpretation.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Ten thumbs on November 11, 2011, 02:38:45 PM

The Classical Era is my least favorite era. I'm generalizing, but the diatonicism is banal to me. Generally if I can hum along to a melody the first time I hear it, it's not very interesting. I like chromaticism more as part of the harmony, as opposed to simple ornamentation.  I think this era may have the biggest lack of depth as far as relevant composers go, i.e., after the greats the drop-off is pretty big.

Domenico Scarlatti is a giant of music who was ahead of his time. This probably wouldn't qualify as unpopular if his works received more attention. I've heard people say that Bach is the only Baroque composer worth noting.


Yes, BUT, the reason D. Scarlatti was ahead of his time is that a substantial number of his output of keyboard sonatas are classical in style!
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Josquin des Prez on November 11, 2011, 02:41:40 PM
Mozart was a hack who didn't really write the music attributed to him.

God, don't do that, lest you might summon him who is not to be named.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Wanderer on November 11, 2011, 02:45:55 PM
What I really hate is when musicians perform some notes identically only because they are identical.

Ditto.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: cilgwyn on November 11, 2011, 02:49:51 PM
Charles Stanfords music is crap!
York Bowen's music is crap!
Elisabeth Schwarzkopf was an overrated battle axe!
Cello concerto's are dreary and mawkish sounding.
The Dream of Gerontius is dreary,dated,gloomy and mawkish.
Kathleen Ferrier sounds like a trombone with a cold.
Ravel is dreary,depressing and glutinous.
Debussy is depressing and gloomy.
Wagner is pompous and boring.
Bernstein was an overrated,big headed show off.
Emi.Decca & all the other major recording labels are outdated,pointless and crap!
Downloading,Mp3's & burning are tedious and boring. Bring back cassette recording & just pressing play & record!

And I really won't get banned for this,or have GMG members hunting me down with a baseball bat? :o
I'm only joking,of course!!!! :D
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Josquin des Prez on November 11, 2011, 02:53:09 PM
Yes, BUT, the reason D. Scarlatti was ahead of his time is that a substantial number of his output of keyboard sonatas are classical in style!

Almost, but not quite. Scarlatti's genius rested in his infinite wealth of invention in regards to harmony and modulation. This at times pushed his sonatas towards unorthodox directions. His late sonatas are proof that you can write harmonically daring compositions without relying on chromaticism. Sometimes context alone can suffice.

BTW, Scarlatti's father is way, way below his son in terms of genius. Just wanted to say that.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Josquin des Prez on November 11, 2011, 02:57:19 PM
I don't care for Bach, Johann Sebastian. Freakin' boring. ::)  If it's Baroque it's Vivaldi or Biber. Just sayin'... :)

You are boring. And Biber is freaking irritating. That, or performers really like to take the whole scordatura thing out of proportions.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: max on November 11, 2011, 02:59:03 PM

Beethoven is long-winded. Still one of my favorites, but it's pretty tough to slog through a lot of those slow movements. I mean, we get it already. Move on. And then the repeats!

...I couldn't agree more, especially on the repeats since I probably got 5 versions of most of what he wrote! But one thing's for sure...at least for me...that Beethoven like Bruckner was one of the supreme masters of the the slow movement and it's mostly these that call my attention to ATTENTION especially in the quartets!
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Josquin des Prez on November 11, 2011, 03:00:44 PM
1. The Goldberg Variations are the only boring thing that Bach ever wrote.

No.

Bach wrong a few boring things, all of them in his early years. We are excluding from the equation those works which he wrote with no particular ambition in mind, which don't count anyway.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Josquin des Prez on November 11, 2011, 03:04:52 PM
I've heard people say that Bach is the only Baroque composer worth noting.

Bach, Handel, Scarlatti, Rameau and Zelenka. Just with those the Baroque has the classical period beaten to a pulp. 
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Bulldog on November 11, 2011, 03:13:06 PM
Vivaldi sucks.

I don't hate many transcriptions, but I really hate the motivation behind them.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: 71 dB on November 11, 2011, 03:24:06 PM
Bach, Handel, Scarlatti, Rameau and Zelenka. Just with those the Baroque has the classical period beaten to a pulp.

Yes, and we haven't even mentioned such earlier masters as Buxtehude and M.-A. Charpentier!
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: starrynight on November 11, 2011, 03:35:34 PM
Yes, and we haven't even mentioned such earlier masters as Buxtehude and M.-A. Charpentier!

I don't think it's a competition between styles.  But really people look at the baroque as lasting 150 years and normally look at the classical period as being far shorter so it isn't a good comparison.  The influence of music from the classical period reached far into the romantic period and beyond though with forms like the symphony, quartet and the piano sonata.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: madaboutmahler on November 11, 2011, 03:45:51 PM
This will be a great thread to be part of... :)

By the way, anyone to insult Mahler shall be hammered!  ;D

I find quite a lot of Haydn and Mozart incredibly boring.... the same for much later composers such as Stravinsky (apart from a few works which I love dearly)...

Andris Nelsons is a wonderful, great conductor! - who cares about the appalling technique?!

I promise to be back soon with more! 
Shostakovich is grossly overrated, imitative, constricted, vulgar and even cheap.
 

No.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: max on November 11, 2011, 03:50:14 PM
Bach, Handel, Scarlatti, Rameau and Zelenka. Just with those the Baroque has the classical period beaten to a pulp.

...so that would exclude from "their" hierarchy anyone who followed? As long as humans exist there are "Masters" who don't create for just one age or one style. What they do have in common is that their works remain contemporary regardless of any "period" they were written in. Those who follow are not in any way inferior to those who preceded and especially so in this case. Preferences are personal but assertions like these are idiotic.
 
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Brian on November 11, 2011, 04:16:46 PM
Shostakovich is the most complete composer since Beethoven.
Brahms' First Symphony is blustery, overambitious, and underdistinguished.
Bartok's Concerto for Orchestra is frigid and boring.
Op 95 may be Beethoven's most perfect achievement.
Most of today's "neo-romantics" are not neo-romantic in the slightest.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Lethevich on November 11, 2011, 04:23:29 PM
No.

Get thee popular opinions out of here! ;D
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: ibanezmonster on November 11, 2011, 04:44:14 PM
Ubloobideega's op.2342 I Eat My Eyeball Poopoo is the best work ever.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Lethevich on November 11, 2011, 04:46:53 PM
Most of today's "neo-romantics" are not neo-romantic in the slightest.

I too have problems with this designation, and other ones well. The neo-Romantic description is thrown at anything that is not avant-garde and it doesn't feel particularly helpful. It covers anything from populist, pretentious, light music, heavy music - just, what? -_-

Another issue I have is how musical history has made it impossible to describe the composers between Wagner and the post WW2-serialists, who wrote tonally not as a "reaction" but as a continuation of their tradition; a composer of Romantic-sounding tonal music, post WW2 would largely be a reactionary figure, composing music he prefers and swimming against the tide. But all the way up to WW2 there were composers writing like this because this remained the tradition in which they worked, and yet "Late Romanticism" had already supposedly been torn to the seams and surpassed by 1915.

But inter-war composers such as EJ Moeran or Arnold Bax didn't see themselves as railing against the current trends - they were writing in a personal language which came naturally to them and they felt was relevent, and yet there is no designation for these other than a kind of sneering "belated-tonal", as they fall beyond the musico-historical cut-off point for (already Late) Romanticism. They don't really fit into that period either, as their music - while indebted to Wagner and others (as were some progressives) - sounds considerably different to what had come before, as by now the influence of composers such as Debussy and Bartók had been absorbed.

There seems to be an entire period of music running from 1915-1945, parallel to the avant-garde, which is as difficult to describe as "Neo-Romantic" composers from later years are. Only an OCD person such as myself could have quite such a problem with this, mind ;D
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Cato on November 11, 2011, 05:36:32 PM
Prokofiev composed SIX (6) symphonies, and no more than SIX (6).   :o

Any claims to the contrary are just wrong!   0:)

There, I have stated my unpopular opinion!  And I'm glad, I tell you!  Glad!!!   ;D
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: DavidRoss on November 11, 2011, 05:45:34 PM
inter-war composers such as EJ Moeran or Arnold Bax didn't see themselves as railing against the current trends - they were writing in a personal language which came naturally to them and they felt was relevent, and yet there is no designation for these other than a kind of sneering "belated-tonal", as they fall beyond the musico-historical cut-off point for (already Late) Romanticism. They don't really fit into that period either, as their music - while indebted to Wagner and others (as were some progressives) - sounds considerably different to what had come before, as by now the influence of composers such as Debussy and Bartók had been absorbed.
QFT

Schumann wrote a couple of good pieces but he's probably the most overrated composer in all of music history.
Schubert wrote a few more good ones, but he's nearly as overrated as Schumann.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: The Six on November 11, 2011, 06:03:12 PM
There seems to be an entire period of music running from 1915-1945, parallel to the avant-garde, which is as difficult to describe as "Neo-Romantic" composers from later years are. Only an OCD person such as myself could have quite such a problem with this, mind ;D

Basically we've run out of nice labels to describe music. Ironic because there are tons of superfluous genres and sub-genres now, with the post-this and neo-that and polystylism, and none of it sounds good. After the Romantic Era is the 20th Century, and there's no good word to describe it.

"Serious music" and "art music" are terrible alternatives to the collective "classical music."
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: BobsterLobster on November 11, 2011, 07:24:16 PM
Mahler bores me stupid, I'm not particularly keen on most Mozart, and I don't really like Classical symphonic music all that much.  :P
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: mszczuj on November 11, 2011, 07:36:43 PM
"Serious music" and "art music" are terrible alternatives to the collective "classical music."

Academic.

Sorry.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: mszczuj on November 11, 2011, 07:49:23 PM
There is no grammar.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Mirror Image on November 11, 2011, 08:03:54 PM
By the way, anyone to insult Mahler shall be hammered!  ;D

 :P I saw this post and I nearly busted out laughing, Daniel. Very, very funny...

Anyway, no I will not say anything too bad about Mahler ;), but what I will say is that his music grates on my nerves. It's so all over the place emotionally. Up and down, up and down, up and down....

It drives me crazy.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Mirror Image on November 11, 2011, 08:05:26 PM
I really can't stand the Baroque and Classical Eras. I'm not too big of fan of early Romantic either. For me, it's harmonically uninteresting.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: mszczuj on November 11, 2011, 08:12:50 PM
Prokofiev composed SIX (6) symphonies, and no more than SIX (6).   :o

Any claims to the contrary are just wrong!   0:)

There, I have stated my unpopular opinion!  And I'm glad, I tell you!  Glad!!!   ;D

Yes, yes, that's it.

But this You Know What how is it called by those who can't recognize the facts?

I mean which number.

(1-7)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: mszczuj on November 11, 2011, 08:15:00 PM
(1-7)

?
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Brian on November 11, 2011, 09:24:02 PM
?

He dislikes the ending of No 7.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Chaszz on November 11, 2011, 09:58:08 PM
With some great exceptions the Classical period bores me also. In addition to its other shortcomings already described, such as the maddening reliance on tonic-dominant, its preference for building using short repeated figures at the expense of longer lines can drive me crazy.

The great influence of Classical period forms like sonata form on the Romantics was not necessarily a good one. Charles Rosen has written of how sonata form in the Romantic period was often an empty shell that had lost its vitality, and ran counter to the Romantics' need to write in freer melodic patterns. Schubert for one might not have wandered around so long in his movements had he not been seeking to fill out a form not really suited to his more melodic talents. His lieder succeed better because they're more natural to him. The one Romantic composer who really used sonata form as a still-living structure was Brahms, who of course was not a typical Romantic composer but a sort of throwback to earlier periods, though a very great one.

Louis Armstrong's Hot Five records while famous are still generally unappreciated as supreme works of American genius and are mostly unlistened to. I have found they throw off new little details to appreciate for the first time even after 56 years of listening. His trumpet improvising after 1930 was almost always on a much lower level.

Beethoven bores me with his dramatic self-righteous insistent morality which comes thru clearly even in the non-program music.

Bach is boring sometimes, especially in arias that are not particularly inspired but written out to a predetermined standard form with their very long repetitions. But on the other hand the number of really great works he wrote is enormous. Someone who does not "get" him is entitled to his opinion but is really missing out on a heck of a lot of supremely great music.

Rachmaninoff's music has mostly a single theme: lachrymose self-pity.

Hemingway is a great writer so unappealing in character and personality that I decline to even try him.

Likewise Woody Allen. Someone who with the whole wide world before him could not find anyone to marry except his childrens' sister is the ultimate in narcissistic uncaring self-absorption, practically to the point of criminality. The children he parented, especially his two biological children who do not speak to him, are probably facing lives as difficult as those subjected to sex abuse. How the literati and elites still honor him and fawn to him is to me indicative of a pretty sick culture.

Probably drifting into Diner territory here, so I'll stop.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: starrynight on November 12, 2011, 12:07:32 AM
I suppose every era has its tropes or habits and people may grow to accept them or they may grate.  But I think the classical era could have some nice fluent melodic lines in the songlike lyricism of the  slow movements.  And Charles Rosen can say what he wants but my ears will decide for themselves.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Josquin des Prez on November 12, 2011, 12:57:42 AM
I really can't stand the Baroque and Classical Eras. I'm not too big of fan of early Romantic either. For me, it's harmonically uninteresting.

Haha, you have no idea what harmony is, do you. Bach harmonically uninteresting, hahahaha. Freaking 20th century ideologues man.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: mszczuj on November 12, 2011, 01:32:20 AM
He dislikes the ending of No 7.

Oh, yes. Wich one?
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: 71 dB on November 12, 2011, 01:58:59 AM
I don't think it's a competition between styles.  But really people look at the baroque as lasting 150 years and normally look at the classical period as being far shorter so it isn't a good comparison.  The influence of music from the classical period reached far into the romantic period and beyond though with forms like the symphony, quartet and the piano sonata.

Renaissance lasted 200 years. The world gets quicker (more/better technology that allows us to do things faster). In "modern dance music" there was a HUGE amount of fast development between years 1988 and 1995:

:
1988   Acid House (late renaissance/early baroque like Monteverdi would be the equivalent)
1989   Hip House/early Rave (Schütz)
1990   Rave (Rosenmüller/Tunder/Weckmann)
1991   Hardcore Rave (Buxtehude)
1992   Breakbeat House (the high point of modern dance music like J.S. Bach and Handel of baroque)
1993   Darkside/early Jungle ("early galant" composers like Fasch and Hasse)
1994   Jungle (C.P.E. Bach)
1995   Drum 'n' Bass (Haydn)
:
:

The Thirty Years' War 1618-1648 delayed the development of northern Europe baroque.

The problem is that in our culture it is a "given fact" that Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven were geniuses while one has to find out about the wonders of baroque between Schütz and Bach. No wonder composers like Bruhns, Kuhnau, Tunder and Weckmann are so unknown. I am not saying that Tunder is as great as Mozart (he is not). I am saying that ignoring the most part of baroque gives people the impression that J.S. Bach is pretty much all baroque has to offer.

Remarkable classical era composers shouldn't be ignored (or laughed at) either and that's why I have been speaking for Dittersdorf on this forum.  ;D
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: starrynight on November 12, 2011, 02:24:11 AM
It's easier for music critics to make their histories by just focussing on a few composers and ignoring the rest.  And that's all the more reason to not take them as gospel. 

Over time developments have perhaps accelerated.  The Medieval period will have been longer than the Renaissance.  Lots of developments of course don't necessarily mean lots of great music as you need styles to be explored in depth more for the full potential of them to be revealed.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: david johnson on November 12, 2011, 04:56:12 AM
This thread is a sweet example of pooled ignorance  :P
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on November 12, 2011, 06:03:17 AM
There are musical reasons why we listen to Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven much more than to their contemporaries — it's not just some conspiracy of oppression.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: 71 dB on November 12, 2011, 06:11:58 AM
There are musical reasons why we listen to Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven much more than to their contemporaries — it's not just some conspiracy of oppression.

Is there a musical reason too why many listen to Lady Gaga much more than to Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven ?
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Szykneij on November 12, 2011, 06:14:39 AM
I own a Zamfir CD. I like it.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Josquin des Prez on November 12, 2011, 06:16:35 AM
Is there a musical reason too why many listen to Lady Gaga much more than to Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven ?

No, that's just because most people are that dumb/ignorant.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Josquin des Prez on November 12, 2011, 06:18:42 AM
Just in case you're not joking ..

J.S. Bach is unparalleled as far as harmonic profundity is concerned, all music is rendered harmonically tame in comparison. Things do generally drop off after Baroque (which I love) .. i.e. 'Classical Era' (a big BIG yawner for me too) .. then they pickup again with Wagner who's absolutely sublime and harmonically 'profound'.

This statement is once again nonsensical. Is the music of Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Chopin etc. not harmonically profound? The first two could for instance run circles around Wagner in terms of contrapuntal mastery. Is that not profound? Why do people keep confusing technique with profundity? Is a second rate 20th century composer somehow more profound and complex then a Beethoven, due exclusively to his 20th century technical baggage?
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Szykneij on November 12, 2011, 06:23:54 AM
This thread is a haven where you can go against the grain without fear of persecution.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: 71 dB on November 12, 2011, 06:39:58 AM
No, that's just because most people are that dumb/ignorant.

Exactly the answers I was expecting (it was a rhetoric question you know).

How about considering the possibility that Vanhal, Dittersdorf and Hofmann are almost as good as Haydn but much less listened because most people into classical music are that ignorant?
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: DavidRoss on November 12, 2011, 06:42:10 AM
Hemingway is a great writer so unappealing in character and personality that I decline to even try him.
Guess you've never heard Wagner's music, either.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: DavidRoss on November 12, 2011, 06:43:57 AM
Is there a musical reason too why many listen to Lady Gaga much more than to Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven ?
Perhaps.  Let's see if they're still listening to Gaga 200 years from now.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Josquin des Prez on November 12, 2011, 06:44:53 AM
How about considering the possibility that Vanhal, Dittersdorf and Hofmann are almost as good as Haydn but much less listened because most people into classical music are that ignorant?

Its an illogical position. Those who listens to Haydn are the ones who do not listen to Lady Gaga, that is, the intelligent and knowledgeable ones. We would expect such individuals to be of a more discerning kind even within the confines of their own exclusive interests.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: DavidRoss on November 12, 2011, 06:49:00 AM
Anybody who claims to be either intelligent and informed and still listens to Lady Gaga obviously does not really posses either quality.
How could you be informed regarding Gaga's music if you hadn't listened to it? And who but the unintelligent would form an opinion regarding music he hadn't heard?
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: 71 dB on November 12, 2011, 06:49:11 AM
Yea because intelligence and being informed is merely & totally based on what music someone listens-to of course. You're a retard.

I don't agree. JdP has a point here. Intelligence and being informed gives ability to recognize artistic quality (or lack of it). Lady Gaga is an easy case since it is commercially calculated junk so shamelessly clearly.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Brian on November 12, 2011, 06:52:53 AM
Anybody who claims to be either intelligent and informed and still listens to Lady Gaga obviously does not really posses either quality.

Lady Gaga is, in fact, a very clever woman whose best songs (which are still the early ones, esp. "Bad Romance") show an unbeatable understanding of how to hook an audience. They're catchy, tuneful, they avoid most of the drearily dull chord progressions of modern pop, and the lyrics are comprehensible. I still think Winehouse and Adele are more interesting as artists, but the fact remains that Gaga is not junk any more than, say, Johann Strauss was junk.

Which reminds me of another of my unpopular opinions:

Johann Strauss Jr. was a genius.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: 71 dB on November 12, 2011, 06:55:00 AM
Its an illogical position. Those who listens to Haydn are the ones who do not listen to Lady Gaga, that is, the intelligent and knowledgeable ones. We would expect such individuals to be of a more discerning kind even within the confines of their own exclusive interests.

Those who listen to Lady Gaga are dumb and ignorant as you said.
Those who listen to Haydn are not dumb but maybe somewhat ignorant.
Those who listen to Haydn and Dittersdorf are neither dumb nor ignorant.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: knight66 on November 12, 2011, 06:57:47 AM
There is a difference between 'hearing' and 'listening'. I am not convinced that some here have grasped that.

Mike
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: DavidRoss on November 12, 2011, 06:58:48 AM
Why do you visit GMG?

Because it's one of the most consistently entertaining sites on the Web.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: DavidRoss on November 12, 2011, 06:59:59 AM
There is a difference between 'hearing' and 'listening'. I am not convinced that some here have grasped that.
Listening = hearing attentively?
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: zauberflöte on November 12, 2011, 07:02:03 AM
Anybody who claims to be either intelligent and informed and still listens to Lady Gaga obviously does not really posses either quality.

I enjoy listening to Lady Gaga, also to Josquin des Prez, the real one, not the pretentious, condescending prig pretending to be him on these boards.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: knight66 on November 12, 2011, 07:04:13 AM
Listening = hearing attentively?

Yes indeed.

BTW, though I really do not like Lady Gaga's music, she is certainly highly intelligent and creative.

Mike
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: 71 dB on November 12, 2011, 07:08:52 AM
Lady Gaga is, in fact, a very clever woman

You mean her manager is very clever? They are all clever and rich. We haven't talked about Lady Gaga's ability to do business.

whose best songs (which are still the early ones, esp. "Bad Romance") show an unbeatable understanding of how to hook an audience.

I think I have heard newer songs which are simply horrible. Britney Spears sounds very good in comparison.  ???

They're catchy, tuneful, they avoid most of the drearily dull chord progressions of modern pop, and the lyrics are comprehensible. I still think Winehouse and Adele are more interesting as artists, but the fact remains that Gaga is not junk any more than, say, Johann Strauss was junk.

Adele is a decent artist. Not that interesting but an artist I can approve.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: knight66 on November 12, 2011, 07:11:01 AM
If you hear and watch Gaga being interviewd by a hald decent interviewer, you will grasp she is highly intelligent. That is not the same thing as claiming she is a sharp business woman.

Mike
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: mszczuj on November 12, 2011, 07:17:19 AM
I own a Zamfir CD. I like it.

Is it romanian folklore Zamfir or golden hits Zamfir?
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Szykneij on November 12, 2011, 07:27:37 AM
Is it romanian folklore Zamphir or golden hits Zamphir?

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51utjQUwmNL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Chaszz on November 12, 2011, 07:31:10 AM
Guess you've never heard Wagner's music, either.

The difference is that I happened to hear Wagner's music before I knew anything about his personality. At that point, there was no going back. 
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: DavidRoss on November 12, 2011, 07:34:23 AM
The difference is that I happened to hear Wagner's music before I knew anything about his personality. At that point, there was no going back. 
Good thing you never read any of the Nick Adams stories!
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Superhorn on November 12, 2011, 07:35:28 AM
   Chamber music is NOT more interesting than orchestral music.  Both have so many interesting works. 
   With chamber music, you can't get the enormous coloristic variety of orchestral . 
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Superhorn on November 12, 2011, 07:37:56 AM
   Chopin's  works are music of  swooning salonish sentimentality,  perfumed  preciosity and  pallid prettiness . 
   Sorry about the alliteration, but I'm a  Wagnerian , and Wagnerians love alliteration .
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: jowcol on November 12, 2011, 08:43:00 AM
Resisting the urge to point fingers, I'll just observe that I don't understand why some people choose to devote more of their limited time on earth to trashing they music they dislike, (as well as the  the people who may like such music), and not devote the bulk of their effort to treasuring the music they love, and hopefully using a forum like this to discover new music that they had not previously known.

Frankly, if there is no love or joy in it, the game's not worth a candle.

A few things- these are my own opinions, and I'm not going to be childish enough to insult the intelligence of anyone who disagrees with them.  To me, that smacks of insecurity, and not knowing what one is looking for.   I'm also of the mind set that I'd probably be more upset if everyone agreed with them.



I don't really get Mozart- I LOVE Bach.

If you are listening to Bach for the Harmony and not the counterpoint, it's like going to see a Jackie Chan movie without any martial arts.

I have a fondness for the Eroica-  but on the whole, I don't get Beethoven.   I like the power of his symphonies, but something about his scoring turns me off.  I have mild synesthesia, and his music appears snot green to me. 

A lot of the serialist stuff is fun for a few minutes, but I tend to find it monotonous after a while.  For Schoenberg, I tend to prefer his atonal expressionist stuff to the formal serialist stuff later.

I'm not so strong on the classical or early romantic periods. There just isn't much attraction.

I tend towards solo keyboard works or orchestral.  I've only found a couple string quartets that call me back (Ravel and Moeran), and I still haven't found a composer whose chamber works consistently floor me. 


My preferences are always evolving as my needs change.   I used to really love avante-garde stuff, but now I don't seem to need it as much.  I guess I feel like Rochberg when he reembraced more use of tonality after he found the 12 tone approach limiting to express what he was feeling.  I used to think I only liked Stravinsky's first three Ballets- it took several more years to accept Les Noces, Symphony of Psalms, the 1945 Symphony, Agon, and the Ebony Concerto as the masterpieces I feel them to be.


Very little Brahms has made much of an impression on me.


Not too big on Operas outside of Mussorgsky.   One the whole Wagner wears out his welcome very quickly with me. 


I've enjoyed music much more every since I stopped worrying if it was "Serious" or  not, As a result, I'm enjoying the serious stuff more.


There is a lot of "Non-Serious" music I downright love, and is as important to my own musical hierarchy as classical.  I love jazz artists like like John Coltrane, Miles Davis, and blues artists like Otis Rush and Buddy guy every bit as much as I love Bach and Stravinsky, not because they have the same qualities, but because they don't.  They trigger another response in me, and open other musical vistas that I never would have encountered back when I was hung up on "Serious" music, and spending a lot of time looking down on others that weren't "serious" enough.

Not sure if I confessed it yet, but I'm a huge Allman Brothers fan- at least for their instrumentals and longer works.  However, I can live the rest of my life without every hearing Rambling Man again, and I think that Gregg Allman and Dickie Betts are sleazeballs, and a lot of the other "southern rock" bands were pretty worthless.   It was the song High Falls that first convinced me that there may be music of worth outside of the "serious stuff" I was listening to.  And that there are times where improvised music could deliver a purer message to me than something composed. 

Yes, I like some trash.  Everything now and thing I need garage rock, punk, etc.  I need something for different moods.  WHo would want to eat the same meal for the rest of their lives?  And music, IMO, needs to address the whole person, not just the intellect. 

Good music is not necessarily complicated.  It is not necessarily simple.   It accomplishes what it sets out to do without pretense or posing.  That's my definition.  Your mileage may vary.  As well it should.

A great way to waste time an energy is trying to get people to feel  the same about a work as you do.  Even iif a person shares your tastes in a lot of areas, there's no predicting.  It just leads to frustration, and name calling. 

I've also learned a lot of tricks in pursuing music from people whose tastes were radically different from mine. I didn't apply these tricks to the same artists, but the ones I've like.


I keep a list of artists that I'm supposed to like, but just haven't gotten into.  I go back from time to time.  Still haven't clicked with Mahler- fascinating guy, I love the scope of his works, but parts of him just strike me as cheesy.  But there may still be a point where the gates open, and I want to be ready when it does.


And I keep looking for a new sounds to explore.  Lately, it's been early instrumental rock (not really surf or rockabilly).   Some of that stuff manages to combine some surprising sophistication with some basic urggh.  Like many discoveries, it is scratching an itch I didn't know I had.  But I'm wading through a lot of crap to collect a good compilation. 

IN any genre, "classical" included, you are likely to find a few gems and a lot of trash.  (What defines the difference is subject to some interpretation.)  One advantage in classical is that a lot of the weaker artists have been weeded out over time.   I don't understand people devoting too much energy to bashing whole genres.  If you don't like it, don't listen.  But if you hear SOMETHING in a genre you've previously disliked that moves you, it may behoove you to dig deeper.   But I don't see the point in wasting energy in throwing yourself at something that doesn't move you.   Even in some of the more problematic artists I'
ve grown to love, even if you couldn't fully grasp what whey were doing on teh first try, there would be something that would pull you back. 


I don't think anybody would be on this forum if they didn't have a strong relationship with music.   I love to see people passionate about their music.  The worst thing is indifference- people that say they like all kinds of music but you get the feeling it is all background to them.  As I've gotten older, I've learned to appreciate the excitement people bring to music that I can't stand.  Music is a personal quest for all of us, and we need to make our own path.

Also, to get back to some of the name calling, the idea of this thread was for people to vent their opinions.  An opinion, by definition, cannot be right or wrong.   I can say the only thing on this forum that has bothered me has not been someone who doesn't like one of my sacred cows, but rather  intolerance for other peoples opinions.   I honestly believe the name calling comes from insecurity.  If you really are comfortable in your own skin, there is not need to take any disagreements in tastes personnally.

And, personally, although I don't seeing the name calling aimed at others, feel free to toss any in my direction- it won't offend me, but may cause me to giggle a lot.   This is just a web forum- and in terms of stress, is nothing like the real world horrors of old age, illness, and death. 


Okay, the caffeine is wearing off.   Just one more point about the love and joy.  Music is, for me, the most endlessly fascinating art form.  I honestly believe it has powers over the mind, and opens up an incredible range of experiences.  Music is playing somewhere in my mind all the time, whether I am listening to it or not.  I believe it as important to my life as air, food, and water.   I really don't care if there rest of you share my likes and dislikes, or interpretation of what a given work "means", but I do hope  despite some of the negative threads and name calling, that each of you can find the joy in what you like, and not let  the name calling distract you from what brought you to music in the first place.





Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: BobsterLobster on November 12, 2011, 09:00:03 AM
Maybe, or maybe not (though studies on the subject imply precisely that. Musical taste is a reflection of ones own intelligence and knowledge. There's even been a study made upon classical music fans who became victims of dementia and other brain degenerative illnesses, who turned to popular music!). One thing is however certain: anybody who listens to Lady Gaga specifically is indeed totally dump and ignorant. On that, there is no ambiguity.

Can you cite your reference? Sounds very interesting!
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: jowcol on November 12, 2011, 10:58:58 AM
Word of advice .. try without the caffeine next time.

*giggles*
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: DavidRoss on November 12, 2011, 12:08:51 PM
Amy Winehouse was ... imitative
That's what I thought.  Lots of folks I know thought she was great, but I just saw another drug addict with typically self-absorbed affectations imitating real singers who had done the same sort of thing before and much better.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: starrynight on November 12, 2011, 12:29:22 PM
Resisting the urge to point fingers, I'll just observe that I don't understand why some people choose to devote more of their limited time on earth to trashing they music they dislike, (as well as the  the people who may like such music), and not devote the bulk of their effort to treasuring the music they love, and hopefully using a forum like this to discover new music that they had not previously known.

Frankly, if there is no love or joy in it, the game's not worth a candle.

Yes a good thing to do is to concentrate on what you like and enjoy it to the full.  I  hate feeling there are gaps in my understanding on things though so I always try to fill in those to an extent, even if my main preferences are ultimately more limited (like just about everyone). 

I don't think I tend to just question music I don't like for the sake of it, normally it is in response to someone saying it is really important in some way and that can lead me to give my opinion on it.  There can be constructive polite criticism, though some on internet forums can certainly try to make things personal.  And I agree with you that it is completely unneccesary to do that about people on forums you don't really even know.  People should just keep it to the music.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Szykneij on November 12, 2011, 12:35:12 PM
And I agree with you that it is completely unneccesary to do that about people on forums you don't really even know.  People should just keep it to the music.

I also agree, especially in a thread with an opening post that says

This thread is a haven where you can go against the grain without fear of persecution.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: jowcol on November 12, 2011, 01:11:56 PM
Giggling is something little girls do. Just letting you know.

*giggles even harder*

(http://www.comics101.com/comics101//news/Comics%20101/313/frank-gorshin-riddler.jpg)
http://www.youtube.com/v/ogadm5IzJfU



One of my favorite little girls  above.

Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: some guy on November 12, 2011, 01:49:42 PM
You are purely unable to rise above the level of personal insult, aren't you?

Anyway, here's an unpopular opinion: Berlioz was the most important composer of the 19th century and Cage was the most important of the 20th.

Wait. Is that two opinions?
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: jowcol on November 12, 2011, 01:53:16 PM
You are purely unable to rise above the level of personal insult, aren't you?

Please, don't discourage him.  I'm looking for more material.  And he rarely disappoints.  That's what I love about him so much, in my gender confused way.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on November 12, 2011, 02:05:55 PM
I own a Zamfir CD. I like it.

You're a man's man, Tony!
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: jowcol on November 12, 2011, 02:07:01 PM
You are a humorless twit who could use a page out of the insult comic's handbook. And Cage is mindless crap that any unmusical shithead could pull off. Now if you excuse me, I'm off to the washroom to perform to my latest opus in his honour.

You GO girl!

(http://www.inflexwetrust.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/oprah.jpg)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on November 12, 2011, 02:07:28 PM
How about considering the possibility that Vanhal, Dittersdorf and Hofmann are almost as good as Haydn

I considered the possibilty, but upon listening to the music, such a thesis did not hold up.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on November 12, 2011, 02:09:31 PM
If you hear and watch Gaga being interviewd by a hald decent interviewer, you will grasp she is highly intelligent.

I consider the possibility that GaGa is more intelligent than some who post here.  And is possessed of more humor than some.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on November 12, 2011, 02:11:01 PM
Resisting the urge to point fingers, I'll just observe that I don't understand why some people choose to devote more of their limited time on earth to trashing they music they dislike, (as well as the  the people who may like such music), and not devote the bulk of their effort to treasuring the music they love, and hopefully using a forum like this to discover new music that they had not previously known.

Frankly, if there is no love or joy in it, the game's not worth a candle.

A few things- these are my own opinions, and I'm not going to be childish enough to insult the intelligence of anyone who disagrees with them.  To me, that smacks of insecurity, and not knowing what one is looking for.   I'm also of the mind set that I'd probably be more upset if everyone agreed with them.



I don't really get Mozart- I LOVE Bach.

If you are listening to Bach for the Harmony and not the counterpoint, it's like going to see a Jackie Chan movie without any martial arts.

I have a fondness for the Eroica-  but on the whole, I don't get Beethoven.   I like the power of his symphonies, but something about his scoring turns me off.  I have mild synesthesia, and his music appears snot green to me. 

A lot of the serialist stuff is fun for a few minutes, but I tend to find it monotonous after a while.  For Schoenberg, I tend to prefer his atonal expressionist stuff to the formal serialist stuff later.

I'm not so strong on the classical or early romantic periods. There just isn't much attraction.

I tend towards solo keyboard works or orchestral.  I've only found a couple string quartets that call me back (Ravel and Moeran), and I still haven't found a composer whose chamber works consistently floor me. 


My preferences are always evolving as my needs change.   I used to really love avante-garde stuff, but now I don't seem to need it as much.  I guess I feel like Rochberg when he reembraced more use of tonality after he found the 12 tone approach limiting to express what he was feeling.  I used to think I only liked Stravinsky's first three Ballets- it took several more years to accept Les Noces, Symphony of Psalms, the 1945 Symphony, Agon, and the Ebony Concerto as the masterpieces I feel them to be.


Very little Brahms has made much of an impression on me.


Not too big on Operas outside of Mussorgsky.   One the whole Wagner wears out his welcome very quickly with me. 


I've enjoyed music much more every since I stopped worrying if it was "Serious" or  not, As a result, I'm enjoying the serious stuff more.


There is a lot of "Non-Serious" music I downright love, and is as important to my own musical hierarchy as classical.  I love jazz artists like like John Coltrane, Miles Davis, and blues artists like Otis Rush and Buddy guy every bit as much as I love Bach and Stravinsky, not because they have the same qualities, but because they don't.  They trigger another response in me, and open other musical vistas that I never would have encountered back when I was hung up on "Serious" music, and spending a lot of time looking down on others that weren't "serious" enough.

Not sure if I confessed it yet, but I'm a huge Allman Brothers fan- at least for their instrumentals and longer works.  However, I can live the rest of my life without every hearing Rambling Man again, and I think that Gregg Allman and Dickie Betts are sleazeballs, and a lot of the other "southern rock" bands were pretty worthless.   It was the song High Falls that first convinced me that there may be music of worth outside of the "serious stuff" I was listening to.  And that there are times where improvised music could deliver a purer message to me than something composed. 

Yes, I like some trash.  Everything now and thing I need garage rock, punk, etc.  I need something for different moods.  WHo would want to eat the same meal for the rest of their lives?  And music, IMO, needs to address the whole person, not just the intellect. 

Good music is not necessarily complicated.  It is not necessarily simple.   It accomplishes what it sets out to do without pretense or posing.  That's my definition.  Your mileage may vary.  As well it should.

A great way to waste time an energy is trying to get people to feel  the same about a work as you do.  Even iif a person shares your tastes in a lot of areas, there's no predicting.  It just leads to frustration, and name calling. 

I've also learned a lot of tricks in pursuing music from people whose tastes were radically different from mine. I didn't apply these tricks to the same artists, but the ones I've like.


I keep a list of artists that I'm supposed to like, but just haven't gotten into.  I go back from time to time.  Still haven't clicked with Mahler- fascinating guy, I love the scope of his works, but parts of him just strike me as cheesy.  But there may still be a point where the gates open, and I want to be ready when it does.


And I keep looking for a new sounds to explore.  Lately, it's been early instrumental rock (not really surf or rockabilly).   Some of that stuff manages to combine some surprising sophistication with some basic urggh.  Like many discoveries, it is scratching an itch I didn't know I had.  But I'm wading through a lot of crap to collect a good compilation. 

IN any genre, "classical" included, you are likely to find a few gems and a lot of trash.  (What defines the difference is subject to some interpretation.)  One advantage in classical is that a lot of the weaker artists have been weeded out over time.   I don't understand people devoting too much energy to bashing whole genres.  If you don't like it, don't listen.  But if you hear SOMETHING in a genre you've previously disliked that moves you, it may behoove you to dig deeper.   But I don't see the point in wasting energy in throwing yourself at something that doesn't move you.   Even in some of the more problematic artists I'
ve grown to love, even if you couldn't fully grasp what whey were doing on teh first try, there would be something that would pull you back. 


I don't think anybody would be on this forum if they didn't have a strong relationship with music.   I love to see people passionate about their music.  The worst thing is indifference- people that say they like all kinds of music but you get the feeling it is all background to them.  As I've gotten older, I've learned to appreciate the excitement people bring to music that I can't stand.  Music is a personal quest for all of us, and we need to make our own path.

Also, to get back to some of the name calling, the idea of this thread was for people to vent their opinions.  An opinion, by definition, cannot be right or wrong.   I can say the only thing on this forum that has bothered me has not been someone who doesn't like one of my sacred cows, but rather  intolerance for other peoples opinions.   I honestly believe the name calling comes from insecurity.  If you really are comfortable in your own skin, there is not need to take any disagreements in tastes personnally.

And, personally, although I don't seeing the name calling aimed at others, feel free to toss any in my direction- it won't offend me, but may cause me to giggle a lot.   This is just a web forum- and in terms of stress, is nothing like the real world horrors of old age, illness, and death. 


Okay, the caffeine is wearing off.   Just one more point about the love and joy.  Music is, for me, the most endlessly fascinating art form.  I honestly believe it has powers over the mind, and opens up an incredible range of experiences.  Music is playing somewhere in my mind all the time, whether I am listening to it or not.  I believe it as important to my life as air, food, and water.   I really don't care if there rest of you share my likes and dislikes, or interpretation of what a given work "means", but I do hope  despite some of the negative threads and name calling, that each of you can find the joy in what you like, and not let  the name calling distract you from what brought you to music in the first place.







I may not agree with everything you say, but I dig the tone of your saying it.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on November 12, 2011, 02:12:17 PM
Please, don't discourage him.  I'm looking for more material.  And he rarely disappoints.  That's what I love about him so much, in my gender confused way.

Can always do with more bingo cards
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: PaulR on November 12, 2011, 02:14:07 PM
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: jowcol on November 12, 2011, 02:16:59 PM
Can always do with more bingo cards

The next project will be a bit more interactive.  Oops!  I've said too much.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: some guy on November 12, 2011, 03:09:23 PM
jowcol, you know perfectly well that James cannot be discouraged!

He's invincible!!
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: snyprrr on November 12, 2011, 03:27:51 PM
I have found the one topic of discussion that is absolutely forbidden in The West.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on November 12, 2011, 04:16:17 PM
  • I don't think of rankings of composers is a good idea, I like what I like.  Vanhal might not be on the level of Haydn or Mozart, but I enjoy his music all the same.

Excellent. You anticipated a follow-up post I was considering to the effect that enjoying Vanhal's music is one thing, asserting that it's as good as Haydn's, quite another.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: drogulus on November 12, 2011, 04:28:24 PM
I have found the one topic of discussion that is absolutely forbidden in The West.

     I was there in September and everyone talked normally, just like here. (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/Smileys/classic/huh.gif) So I'm a little curious but......if it's forbidden I won't ask you to tell.

Excellent. You anticipated a follow-up post I was considering to the effect that enjoying Vanhal's music is one thing, asserting that it's as good as Haydn's, quite another.

     Chocolate ice cream is in some respects better than Haydn, though even if it wasn't I'd still like it. But I'm told asserting that it's better is a flogging offense. (http://)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: madaboutmahler on November 12, 2011, 04:33:33 PM
:P I saw this post and I nearly busted out laughing, Daniel. Very, very funny...

Anyway, no I will not say anything too bad about Mahler ;), but what I will say is that his music grates on my nerves. It's so all over the place emotionally. Up and down, up and down, up and down....

It drives me crazy.

 :P

I would have hammer you John, but then I saw this...

Mahler bores me stupid, I'm not particularly keen on most Mozart, and I don't really like Classical symphonic music all that much.  :P

The two last statements I kind of agree with... but the first one... I shall now send a massive Mahlerian hammering your way....

Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: drogulus on November 12, 2011, 04:54:25 PM

Anyway, no I will not say anything too bad about Mahler ;), but what I will say is that his music grates on my nerves. It's so all over the place emotionally. Up and down, up and down, up and down....

It drives me crazy.


     I hear you, but that quality that grates on you grates on me, too. That's the quality that I came to like, though I admit that Mahler is not an all occasions composer. Come to think of it, would it matter if there were no all occasions composers? Are there any?

     I do think Mahler is hard to take in a particular way. Part of it is the sheer mockery of a musical tradition that he also displayed uncommon mastery of. Among the radicals of the late 19th century he was the one who stood up to Beethoven. He did not avoid the issue by rejecting symphonic form, he remade it in his own way and changed it profoundly. Still, based on sound his music often sucks. I mean, the composer is trying to piss you off, right? So, sometimes I don't want to hear that, just like I don't always want to see a Cronenberg film. Well, not just like, but maybe a little like that. (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/Smileys/classic/sad.gif)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Lisztianwagner on November 13, 2011, 03:21:08 AM
Wagner is pompous and boring.

Ah, I can't definitely agree with this :( For me instead, it's the best music ever composed, so beautiful, powerful and passionate!

I'm sorry I'm quite sensitive when Wagner's music is talked about in a negative way.......
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: madaboutmahler on November 13, 2011, 12:16:28 PM
Ah, I can't definitely agree with this :( For me instead, it's the best music ever composed, apart from that of Mahlerso beautiful, powerful and passionate!

I'm sorry I'm quite sensitive when Wagner's music is talked about in a negative way.......

:)

However much I love Wagner, I can see why some people would think this. Extremely long pieces, full of such extreme emotions.
In this way, rather similar to Mahler. Great post from drogulus by the way! I can agree, the extreme and variable emotions in Mahler are an example of why I love his music so so so very much!
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Lisztianwagner on November 13, 2011, 12:36:29 PM
apart from that of Mahler

 :D

I don't remember to have said something similar.....

Quote
However much I love Wagner, I can see why some people would think this. Extremely long pieces, full of such extreme emotions.
In this way, rather similar to Mahler. Great post from drogulus by the way! I can agree, the extreme and variable emotions in Mahler are an example of why I love his music so so so very much!

I perfectly know some people could think this, unluckily it's a rather widespread judgement about Wagner's music: complex, boring, indecipherable....but absolute nonsense in my opinion.
I certainly agree with what you said in the second part of the massage, that's why I love Mahler so much too :)



Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: DavidRoss on November 13, 2011, 12:44:39 PM
Ab
I consider the possibility that GaGa is more intelligent than some who post here.  And is possessed of more humor than some.
Absolutely.  Once you recognize that she's a performance artist and step away from the preposterous commercial success of the character she created, you have to admire both her brilliant assimilation of so many strands of pop culture and her sheer chutzpah.  She makes Katy Perry look like an amateur (in the unflattering sense of the phrase).
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: some guy on November 13, 2011, 12:57:04 PM
Hmmm. It appears from the last few responses that I may have yet another unpopular opinion, and that is that music is about sounds. Sounds and combinations of sounds and manipulations and transformations of sounds.

Not about emotions.

Sure, we can respond to music emotionally. We can respond to food emotionally, too. (Though I don't ever hear anyone claiming that this or that meal is "too up and down emotionally.") We are humans. We are emotional.

But music isn't about our emotions. It isn't about the emotions of the composers. It doesn't convey emotion. It doesn't have emotional content. It's sounds. If we make emotional responses, OK. If we derive emotional information from the sounds, that's all us.

I never think of Mahler's emotions or his life or any of that when I'm listening to his music. I think only of the music. Those sounds, those patterns, those structures. Do I respond emotionally? Of course. Do I think Mahler thought he was pouring his emotions into those sounds? Sure.

But the sounds are all that's important now. Mahler's dead. His music is alive. It is alive whether you know anything about Mahler's life or torments or struggles or joys or anything else. I knew exactly nothing about Mahler's life or the putative emotional content of his music when I first heard the symphony no. 5 and fell in love with it. In fact, it was several decades later that I first came across the information that the opening is supposed to be a funeral march. Really? I was incredulous.

I'd been enjoying it all those years without realizing that it was marked "Trauermarsch." And after I knew that? Well, I can still enjoy Mahler's fifth, though I do have to work a bit to forget "Trauermarsch" now so that I can enjoy the sounds! Not a big deal, but there you are.

[I just found a thesis online that contains this remark: "The opening funeral march is quite obviously concerned with the subject of death, and the extra-musical implication seems to be that an ultimate victory in life is achieved only by descending into the grave. The philosophical statement of the symphony is not simply that tragedy will eventually yield to victory, but rather that tragedy must occur and must be accepted before any true victory is possible." Wow. I couldn't disagree more. If symphonies were philosophical statements, they would be written in words not tones. I'm some guy, and I endorse this unpopular opinion.]
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: drogulus on November 13, 2011, 01:10:20 PM


     I love Mahler and Strauss, so why don't I care for Wagner that much? I'm probably in the minority about that. I'm also in the minority in not hating while not liking Wagner. It seems I haven't found the key.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: DavidRoss on November 13, 2011, 01:10:55 PM
(re. Mahler) ... based on sound his music often sucks.

 :o

Of the many criticisms Mahler's music may be subject to, some deserved, some not, I can't recall ever having heard anyone damn the sound of his music. This may take the prize for the most (musically related) unpopular opinion aired thus far.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: knight66 on November 13, 2011, 01:24:00 PM
I don't agree with what Some Guy suggests either. If music is not about emotion, then food is only about sustenance and painting is all about paint.

We do often second guess what composers wanted; but there is plenty of evidence that they were pouring themselves into their music and much music has been given a programmatic narrative. I don't buy into the idea of it being entirely abstract. Different sounds evoke specific reactions in a commonality of people. This may well be through societal conditioning, but is not less valid for that.

Mike

Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: some guy on November 13, 2011, 01:40:29 PM
Mike,

I don't doubt that we disagree, but I would like to clarify one thing, "entirely abstract" are your words, not mine. I would never say that music is entirely abstract. It seems pretty damn concrete to me, actually. But it's musical concreteness and not some other kind. ("Emotion" is an abstract word, just by the way.)

Oh, wait. I want to clarify another thing, too. Food is about more than just sustenance, true. It's about enjoyment. But we enjoy different foods, all of us, don't we? Although the same foods, with specific allergic exceptions, will sustain all of us, regardless of taste. The same is not true for the arts. Painting is all about paint, but good God, what a magical thing paint is, don't you think? And what magical things sounds are. Sounds and pigments genuinely work upon us at a very deep level, I think. Otherwise, there could hardly be these passionate arguments, could there?

So when I say "music is about sounds" I'm already saying a lot more than I would be saying if I said "food is about sustenance." Sorry if that didn't come across. (I did say that I fell in love with Mahler's fifth, didn't I? And have loved it for several decades.)

But I AM still saying that I don't think music is ABOUT emotions. It certainly elicits them. But then so do lots of other things, including food. I think sounds and pigments are important because they can transcend emotions, not because they can elicit them. And, as with food, the same music can elicit different emotions from different people. Sure, people with similar backgrounds and similar experience will be able to respond to the same piece similarly. No surprise there. But, as you can see just by looking at a handful of posts in any thread, even people with similar backgrounds and similar experience can disagree violently about any given piece of music.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: ibanezmonster on November 13, 2011, 01:53:17 PM
:D

I don't remember to have said something similar.....
:D


[I just found a thesis online that contains this remark: "The opening funeral march is quite obviously concerned with the subject of death, and the extra-musical implication seems to be that an ultimate victory in life is achieved only by descending into the grave. The philosophical statement of the symphony is not simply that tragedy will eventually yield to victory, but rather that tragedy must occur and must be accepted before any true victory is possible." Wow. I couldn't disagree more. If symphonies were philosophical statements, they would be written in words not tones. I'm some guy, and I endorse this unpopular opinion.]
I totally agree. Some writers just want to be fancy so they can seem like good writers with something to write about, when in fact, who ever actually has all of that in mind when composing? I doubt any good composer, ever, would think that precisely when deciding which note to write next. Composing is more of an intuitive process, and after something is written, then you can make up whatever extra-musical story it supposedly expresses, which never really existed in the first place.


As for the Lady Gaga discussion: genres have audiences, the size depending on the genre. It would be more helpful to look at it like that. Pop naturally has the biggest audience, so the most well-liked pop artist is going to be the music who, at the time, has the biggest following. It's not like Lady Gaga is a one-man force going against Beethoven.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: knight66 on November 13, 2011, 02:03:04 PM
I come at this; partly from reading about the origins of music.....heartbeat and rain on leaves for example giving rise to a concept of rhythm. But I still don't grasp this the way you do. I also come at it through vocal music. It is clear that in opera emotions are being evoked within the artform, not simply by it. I don't subscribe to the idea that if you take the words out; then what is left has no inherent emotion or meaning within it. For sure the truncated material would be a lot less focused, but because we could not exactly nail it, does not mean it has reverted to detached sound.

Nor am I clear what you mean by emotions being abstract. I am aware there are different theories on emotions, but not aware that either of the main ones attach the word 'abstract' to describe them.

Mike

Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: knight66 on November 13, 2011, 02:07:56 PM
:D

I totally agree. Some writers just want to be fancy so they can seem like good writers with something to write about, when in fact, who ever actually has all of that in mind when composing? I doubt any good composer, ever, would think that precisely when deciding which note to write next. Composing is more of an intuitive process, and after something is written, then you can make up whatever extra-musical story it supposedly expresses, which never really existed in the first place.



I think that is an interesting point Greg, but I don't think it is a rule. Nor do I think all composers would agree that composing is principally intuitive. That implies a stream of consciousness approach which I suggest would probably be quite rare. It is often careful craft as much as it is inspiration. Composers may not be able to express the process and outcomes in words; after all, if they could do that, why compose.

Mike
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: ibanezmonster on November 13, 2011, 02:28:03 PM
I think that is an interesting point Greg, but I don't think it is a rule. Nor do I think all composers would agree that composing is principally intuitive. That implies a stream of consciousness approach which I suggest would probably be quite rare. It is often careful craft as much as it is inspiration. Composers may not be able to express the process and outcomes in words; after all, if they could do that, why compose.

Mike
Well, it's kind of the middle, usually. Composers might want to express certain things, generally, but you can only get so far, since music is only sound. I think the line of thought that some writings seem to express (that it's normal for composers write to solve philosophical problem note for note) is highly unlikely.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: knight66 on November 13, 2011, 02:40:09 PM
I can't think that any composer has solved any phylosophical problems with a symphony. Nor is a solution to one the application of the emotions.

Mike
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: madaboutmahler on November 13, 2011, 02:48:34 PM
:o

Of the many criticisms Mahler's music may be subject to, some deserved, some not, I can't recall ever having heard anyone damn the sound of his music. This may take the prize for the most (musically related) unpopular opinion aired thus far.

Just re-read drogulus' post, and am shocked!!!!!!!!  >:(

I can't think that any composer has solved any phylosophical problems with a symphony. Nor is a solution to one the application of the emotions.

Mike

Mahler.

Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: some guy on November 13, 2011, 03:16:55 PM
It is clear that in opera emotions are being evoked within the artform, not simply by it. I don't subscribe to the idea that if you take the words out; then what is left has no inherent emotion or meaning within it. For sure the truncated material would be a lot less focused, but because we could not exactly nail it, does not mean it has reverted to detached sound.
And I, for my part, am not sure what you mean by "detached sound," though I must say, it does sound intriguing. Anyway, opera is a special beast. It can convey emotions directly, through words and through actions. A theatrical production without music can convey emotions through words and through actions. So what does music contribute to a theatrical situation that is already conveying emotions through the words and the actions? There's a fine question to chew on, methinks.

I wouldn't express the wordless situation as "what is left has no inherent emotion or meaning." I think that music is full of content, but it's musical content, not any other kind. It's musical meaning. As soon as we start to talk about it, we falsify that reality. Can't be helped, really. But we should be aware that it's happening, I think.

Nor am I clear what you mean by emotions being abstract. I am aware there are different theories on emotions, but not aware that either of the main ones attach the word 'abstract' to describe them.
The word, I said. The word "emotion" is an abstraction. Fear, love, anger, desire, joy, hatred--those are none of them things you can pick up and carry around with you. Scissors, books, handkerchiefs, cameras, those are concrete. (So much so, that our mothers warned us never to run with scissors in our hands!)

Note that calling emotions "abstract" is not to call them "unreal" or "unimportant" or anything like that. That would just be silly. Only our tendency to think of concrete as more real would lead us into that particular silliness. In many ways, in most ways, scissors are much less real than emotions.

Mike
[/quote]
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: ibanezmonster on November 13, 2011, 03:17:16 PM
I don't think these are philosophical problems- more like displaying his own philosophy in music.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: knight66 on November 13, 2011, 03:45:27 PM
SG, We are not going to see eye to eye. Libraries have been written trying merely to define the words being tossed about here. I think the opera argument is a canard, as though adding voices somehow turns the music into something else. Just another kind of sound after all. If the words are in a foreign language to that the hearer understands, that listener can often define roughly what is being conveyed. Words are themselves abstract until imbued with an agreed meaning. Music likewise is sound unless imbued with meaning. In the latter it is the interaction of the composer, the musician and the listener, but to an extent by conditioning and tacit agreement in the West emotions have been attached to specific sounds. Partly subjective I am sure. But equally, much meaning is ascribed in subtext to Shakespear's lines and I am sure he never intended half of what is dug out of them. Going back to music, I don't claim the emotions are universal. We have constructed an approximate lexicon of sound meanings that would not translate say in traditional Indonesia.

I do believe music is a constructed language of a kind and can therefore contain and express more than sound.

In one school on this, emotion literally has physical manifestations, not side effects, but part and parcel of the emotion sits in chemistry and biology and is physiological. So, not perhaps an abstraction.

And, sorry, Mahler did much, but his music solved no philosophical conundrums.

Mike
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: knight66 on November 13, 2011, 03:46:31 PM
I don't think these are philosophical problems- more like displaying his own philosophy in music.

Yes, I pretty much buy that, though I think it was possibly more difuse than that for him.

Mike
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: knight66 on November 13, 2011, 03:51:07 PM
In many ways, in most ways, scissors are much less real than emotions.

Mike

Rereading.......that's a nice thought. Somewhat like the pen, (word), being mightier than the sword.

Mike
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: mszczuj on November 13, 2011, 04:07:04 PM
Somewhat like the pen, (word), being mightier than the sword.

You know, sword is absolutely useless without emotion.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Mirror Image on November 13, 2011, 07:21:48 PM
:P

I would have hammer you John, but then I saw this...

The two last statements I kind of agree with... but the first one... I shall now send a massive Mahlerian hammering your way....

Well Mahler's music doesn't bore me. It's exciting stuff to be sure. I'm just going to have to give him more time. I do remember being enthralled with Symphony No. 2 when I first heard it with Leonard Bernstein conducting the NY Philharmonic on Sony. Man, this is such an amazing performance all-around. I think I'm going to have a Mahler marathon either tomorrow or Tuesday. I just need to give ol' Mahler another chance. My Dad, you, Ilaria, many others on this forum love his music so it must mean something! 8)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Mirror Image on November 13, 2011, 07:24:54 PM
     I hear you, but that quality that grates on you grates on me, too. That's the quality that I came to like, though I admit that Mahler is not an all occasions composer. Come to think of it, would it matter if there were no all occasions composers? Are there any?

     I do think Mahler is hard to take in a particular way. Part of it is the sheer mockery of a musical tradition that he also displayed uncommon mastery of. Among the radicals of the late 19th century he was the one who stood up to Beethoven. He did not avoid the issue by rejecting symphonic form, he remade it in his own way and changed it profoundly. Still, based on sound his music often sucks. I mean, the composer is trying to piss you off, right? So, sometimes I don't want to hear that, just like I don't always want to see a Cronenberg film. Well, not just like, but maybe a little like that. (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/Smileys/classic/sad.gif)

Some good points. As I was telling MadAboutMahler (Daniel), I just need to give Mahler more time. I went through a small Mahler phase when first got into classical music but that was soon subsided when Bruckner's music clicked for me. 8)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: ibanezmonster on November 13, 2011, 07:27:01 PM
I'm just going to have to give him more time.
That's definitely the key to him- it takes a while. Of course, it could just end up that his flavor of music just isn't suited to your taste buds. We're not obligated to enjoy every great composer.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Mirror Image on November 13, 2011, 07:35:36 PM
That's definitely the key to him- it takes a while. Of course, it could just end up that his flavor of music just isn't suited to your taste buds. We're not obligated to enjoy every great composer.

Well we're all wired differently that's sure, but I have been moved by Mahler's music. In fact, when I first heard the Adagietto from the 5th symphony, I busted out in tears. It was one of the most revealing moments in classical music I've ever heard.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: ibanezmonster on November 13, 2011, 07:40:55 PM
Well we're all wired differently that's sure, but I have been moved by Mahler's music. In fact, when I first heard the Adagietto from the 5th symphony, I busted out in tears. It was one of the most revealing moments in classical music I've ever heard.
Hmm... then what's the problem? Is it that you can't listen to a whole symphony of his straight through? Honestly, I can't even do that any more. I just listen to one movement at a time, or skim through. Maybe you should try doing something else while listening.
Or is it just that you have to be in the right mood to listen to it?
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Mirror Image on November 13, 2011, 08:07:50 PM
Hmm... then what's the problem? Is it that you can't listen to a whole symphony of his straight through? Honestly, I can't even do that any more. I just listen to one movement at a time, or skim through. Maybe you should try doing something else while listening.
Or is it just that you have to be in the right mood to listen to it?

I usually try and listen to the whole symphony, which I guess could be apart of the problem. I'll try the one movement at a time strategy. It seems like I've done this before and I recall it being much more successful. I remember just listening to the first movement of the 3rd and it's a symphony within itself lasting over 30 minutes. 8)

I hardly ever listen to music based on my mood. I listen, as I'm sure everyone does, for enjoyment and to find something within the music. There are different ways people can listen to music, I tend to listen to music in phases. One week it might be Bartok, the next week it might be Thelonious Monk, etc...
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: ibanezmonster on November 13, 2011, 08:12:03 PM
I usually try and listen to the whole symphony, which I guess could be apart of the problem. I'll try the one movement at a time strategy. It seems like I've done this before and I recall it being much more successful. I remember just listening to the first movement of the 3rd and it's a symphony within itself lasting over 30 minutes. 8)

I hardly ever listen to music based on my mood. I listen, as I'm sure everyone does, for enjoyment and to find something within the music. There are different ways people can listen to music, I tend to listen to music in phases. One week it might be Bartok, the next week it might be Thelonious Monk, etc...
Seems like you just need a Mahler week.  ;)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Mirror Image on November 13, 2011, 08:15:58 PM
Seems like you just need a Mahler week.  ;)

 :P

Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Brian on November 13, 2011, 08:36:43 PM
I usually try and listen to the whole symphony, which I guess could be apart of the problem. I'll try the one movement at a time strategy. It seems like I've done this before and I recall it being much more successful. I remember just listening to the first movement of the 3rd and it's a symphony within itself lasting over 30 minutes. 8)

This one movement at a time approach did wonders for me with Bruckner. Still is, in fact, as I'm conquering some of his more titanic symphonies one movement at a time even now. Love your example of the 3rd - one of just two Mahler symphonies I really love - and that first movement really is a complete symphony in its own right, though the first time I heard the piece was live (Warsaw/Wit) and when the final movement came along... it was like he'd been holding back from saying what he really meant to say all along. A couple of the inner movements make me wonder why they're there and then at the end all is explained.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Mirror Image on November 13, 2011, 08:40:47 PM
This one movement at a time approach did wonders for me with Bruckner. Still is, in fact, as I'm conquering some of his more titanic symphonies one movement at a time even now. Love your example of the 3rd - one of just two Mahler symphonies I really love - and that first movement really is a complete symphony in its own right, though the first time I heard the piece was live (Warsaw/Wit) and when the final movement came along... it was like he'd been holding back from saying what he really meant to say all along. A couple of the inner movements make me wonder why they're there and then at the end all is explained.

The 3rd is a beautiful work, Brian. Is this one of the more underrated symphonies of his cycle? I seem to recall many Mahlerians debating what their favorite symphony was and the 3rd seemed to be the least liked. I'm not sure why.

Bruckner was a beast I tackled head-on, lost the first round, but came back for a second round and won. 8) His Symphonies Nos. 4-9 are not of this world.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Brian on November 13, 2011, 08:42:31 PM
The 3rd is a beautiful work, Brian. Is this one of the more underrated symphonies of his cycle? I seem to recall many Mahlerians debating what their favorite symphony was and the 3rd seemed to be the least liked. I'm not sure why.

I got the same sense and I shared your confusion. I think possibly because it's less angsty and more nature-filled, more optimistic; its closest cousin might therefore be No 1. Whereas most people who really love Mahler seem to love most the Mahler they hear in Nos 2, 6, and 9.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Mirror Image on November 13, 2011, 08:55:55 PM
I got the same sense and I shared your confusion. I think possibly because it's less angsty and more nature-filled, more optimistic; its closest cousin might therefore be No 1. Whereas most people who really love Mahler seem to love most the Mahler they hear in Nos 2, 6, and 9.

The 7th also seems to not get that much attention. I think it's a fine work. Perhaps a little on the odd side? Maybe, but that finale is something else!
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: DavidRoss on November 13, 2011, 09:40:12 PM
I got the same sense and I shared your confusion. I think possibly because it's less angsty and more nature-filled, more optimistic; its closest cousin might therefore be No 1. Whereas most people who really love Mahler seem to love most the Mahler they hear in Nos 2, 6, and 9.
I had a hard time with the 3rd for a long time.  Now it might be my favorite and I love it so much that I can't imagine why it took me so long to appreciate it.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Ten thumbs on November 14, 2011, 02:18:36 AM
Almost, but not quite. Scarlatti's genius rested in his infinite wealth of invention in regards to harmony and modulation. This at times pushed his sonatas towards unorthodox directions. His late sonatas are proof that you can write harmonically daring compositions without relying on chromaticism. Sometimes context alone can suffice.

BTW, Scarlatti's father is way, way below his son in terms of genius. Just wanted to say that.
The Six did say that he liked chromaticism. Anyway, the point I was making is that in Scarlatti we find reduction to one key to a bar and phrase repetition, two of the hallmarks of Classicism. I wonder whether or not he also dislikes the Classical architectural style of Palladio.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: starrynight on November 14, 2011, 08:23:18 AM
I think there is some universality to music and the relation of emotions to music or sounds.   And of course as time has gone on with the increasing globalisation this universality has been more and more evident.  Also I don't think emotion is an abstraction, it's a very real thing with which we react to something.  Emotions can combine our senses with an intellectual response to something.   If we are talking about very precise meanings then obviously that may not specifically apply to a particular listener, but a general feeling can still apply and link composer, performer and listener.  That's why you don't necessarily have to read music critics and understand all about a composer's life to enjoy music.  I still think the best way is to just listen to more of a composer's or a particular period's music to get more inside it and past its surface sound to its intent.

Really I think music touches on emotions and the intellect, both are combined.  It may well be the same with other arts too, though the intellectual side is more to the surface perhaps in most other cases.  With music, initially at least,  we take it more directly as its pure state (sound) rather than as just an artwork.  And music is enjoyed by most people, it is easy to take in somehow compared to other arts, maybe because it is so uniquitous now and we are so used to hearing it all the time thanks to recording and transmitting technology.  This is a positive in that people can be more open to music, but might be a negative as people take it for granted without thinking about it more.  Food I think is different, to most people it is largely sustenance (and purely sensory and not intellectual) and not a particular expression of intent.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Superhorn on November 14, 2011, 08:33:13 AM
  Maria Callas is the most overrated opera singer of all time, a caricature of a diva.  Her hideously ugly voice makes fingernails on
a chalkboard sound pleasant by comparison . 
Enrico Caruso is also highly overrated. Compared to Pavarotti , he's  the proverbial bull in a china shop .
Toscanini  is the most overrated conductor of all time, particularly his NBC symphony recordings .  These  performances are almost with
out exception coarse, choppy , hectic, punchy, nervous,rushed, metronomically rigid .  and insensitive  .
  These performances are mechanical, joyless and stiffly regimented .
The late Sir Reginald Goodall was considered by many critics and fans to have been the greatest Wagner conductor of  the late 20th century.  But he didn't have a clue as to what Wagner's music is about .  His Ring ,Tristan and Parsifal recordings are impossibly lethargic and sluggish , without a shred of momentum ,let alone  the hair-raising intensity  and sweep of  Solti, who was THE Wagner conductor .
Goodall made a hash of the tempo relations in the operas,  reducing  everything to basically one impossibly sluggish tempo ,making Wagner's surgingly powerful music fall flat as the proverbial pancake .  He made Knappertsbusch seem like a speed demon in Wagner .
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: madaboutmahler on November 14, 2011, 09:15:44 AM
Well Mahler's music doesn't bore me. It's exciting stuff to be sure. I'm just going to have to give him more time. I do remember being enthralled with Symphony No. 2 when I first heard it with Leonard Bernstein conducting the NY Philharmonic on Sony. Man, this is such an amazing performance all-around. I think I'm going to have a Mahler marathon either tomorrow or Tuesday. I just need to give ol' Mahler another chance. My Dad, you, Ilaria, many others on this forum love his music so it must mean something! 8)

Yes!!!!! :D
Enjoy John - I do hope you begin to love Mahler as much as we do here! :) Let us know!
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Mirror Image on November 14, 2011, 09:19:44 AM
Yes!!!!! :D
Enjoy John - I do hope you begin to love Mahler as much as we do here! :) Let us know!

Thanks, Daniel. I'm sure I'm going to enjoy the music, but at far as loving it, that may take some time. 8)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: madaboutmahler on November 14, 2011, 09:24:31 AM
Thanks, Daniel. I'm sure I'm going to enjoy the music, but at far as loving it, that may take some time. 8)

haha ;) Of course, I understand! :) Which one will you go to next after no.2? :)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Jared on November 14, 2011, 09:26:43 AM
haha ;) Of course, I understand! :) Which one will you go to next after no.2? :)

No.5 would be a good choice...
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Mirror Image on November 14, 2011, 10:32:46 AM
haha ;) Of course, I understand! :) Which one will you go to next after no.2? :)

The 6th, which I understand is your favorite. ;) :D
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: BobsterLobster on November 14, 2011, 10:40:37 AM
I remember having to write essays on the hypothesis that music doesn't contain emotion. Academics typically assert Stravinsky's quote that "music is, by its very nature, essentially powerless to express anything at all". However, it seems blatantly obvious to me when I listen to music that emotions are carried within the music... but explaining this with cold logic is very tough. It reminds me of an academic friend of mine who is very logical... I was speaking to her about a piece of music which had "moved me down to my soul", and she had no idea what I was talking about, thinking about what a strange notion it would be to have a 'soul'!
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: madaboutmahler on November 14, 2011, 11:10:17 AM
The 6th, which I understand is your favorite. ;) :D

Yes! :) Along with no.9 of course! :) Which performance will you be going for? Bernstein I imagine? Solti is my absolute favourite for no.6. :)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Mirror Image on November 14, 2011, 11:21:16 AM
Yes! :) Along with no.9 of course! :) Which performance will you be going for? Bernstein I imagine? Solti is my absolute favourite for no.6. :)

I don't know, Daniel. I'm just going to take it slow with Mahler and not try to rush things. I'm probably going to be re-listening to the 6th but with a different conductor/orchestra this time with Abbado/Berliners from this set:



Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: madaboutmahler on November 14, 2011, 11:29:18 AM
I don't know, Daniel. I'm just going to take it slow with Mahler and not try to rush things. I'm probably going to be re-listening to the 6th but with a different conductor/orchestra this time with Abbado/Berliners from this set:



That certainly is a great set. Solti always for me though! Sometimes I find Abbado a little under-tempo.... but still, his cycle would probably be my favourite Mahler cycle after Bernstein DG and Solti.
Enjoy, and keep me updated with your Mahler journey! :)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Jared on November 14, 2011, 11:35:03 AM
Enjoy, and keep me updated with your Mahler journey! :)

when I finally got around to Mahler.. some time after the Strauss tone poems and Bruckner, I emersed myself for over 3 months, listening to almost nothing else in the mean time... I then took a bit of a break, then spent about another 6 weeks on all his vocal works; different Amazon packages arriving each week with new versions.. at the end of it all, I felt thoroughly 'Mahlered Out', but also felt a tremendous sense of personal achievement and joy...  :)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Mirror Image on November 14, 2011, 11:35:34 AM
That certainly is a great set. Solti always for me though! Sometimes I find Abbado a little under-tempo.... but still, his cycle would probably be my favourite Mahler cycle after Bernstein DG and Solti.
Enjoy, and keep me updated with your Mahler journey! :)

Abbado's 7th is still one of the top performances of this symphony for me. I think this is one of the highlights of his set. Haven't heard any of his Mahler live recordings with the Berliners, have you? My Dad owns them all, but I haven't even listened to them.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Mirror Image on November 14, 2011, 11:37:58 AM
when I finally got around to Mahler.. some time after the Strauss tone poems and Bruckner, I emersed myself for over 3 months, listening to almost nothing else in the mean time... I then took a bit of a break, then spent about another 6 weeks on all his vocal works; different Amazon packages arriving each week with new versions.. at the end of it all, I felt thoroughly 'Mahlered Out', but also felt a tremendous sense of personal achievement and joy...  :)

This is one of the problems I have is that get burnt out on certain composers from listening to them over a long period of time. Now, I try not to do this too often and listen to a variety of composers. I'm finding a lot of enjoyment in Mahler right now and I've always been amazed by how much of a genius he was.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Lisztianwagner on November 14, 2011, 11:41:39 AM
Quote
Well Mahler's music doesn't bore me. It's exciting stuff to be sure. I'm just going to have to give him more time. I do remember being enthralled with Symphony No. 2 when I first heard it with Leonard Bernstein conducting the NY Philharmonic on Sony. Man, this is such an amazing performance all-around. I think I'm going to have a Mahler marathon either tomorrow or Tuesday. I just need to give ol' Mahler another chance. My Dad, you, Ilaria, many others on this forum love his music so it must mean something! 8)

Yes!!!!! :D
Enjoy John - I do hope you begin to love Mahler as much as we do here! :) Let us know!

That's definitely great, I hope John will enjoy that beautiful, thrilling, evocative music! :D

Haha, here's the Mahler phase I was waiting for ;)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on November 14, 2011, 11:53:29 AM
I remember having to write essays on the hypothesis that music doesn't contain emotion. Academics typically assert Stravinsky's quote that "music is, by its very nature, essentially powerless to express anything at all". However, it seems blatantly obvious to me when I listen to music that emotions are carried within the music... but explaining this with cold logic is very tough. It reminds me of an academic friend of mine who is very logical... I was speaking to her about a piece of music which had "moved me down to my soul", and she had no idea what I was talking about, thinking about what a strange notion it would be to have a 'soul'!

I think we've all had powerful experiences, and emotional experiences, as a result of listening to music.  Which is not the same thing as saying that these things are contained within the music.  But it's certainly a tangle, and quite often an enjoyable tangle.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Jared on November 14, 2011, 11:59:10 AM
This is one of the problems I have is that get burnt out on certain composers from listening to them over a long period of time. Now, I try not to do this too often and listen to a variety of composers. I'm finding a lot of enjoyment in Mahler right now and I've always been amazed by how much of a genius he was.

Good for you... it's a truly rewarding journey for those with an open mind (and having read some of your posts, you seem to have that in spades..  ;)  )  I guess I mentioned it because Mahler really is the ONLY composer I felt I've ever had to do that with... when I was going through my 3 Bruckner cycles, I was chopping and changing out of lots of other composers at the same time, but Mahler jujst seemd to be significantly more daunting as prospect...
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Mirror Image on November 14, 2011, 12:15:10 PM
Good for you... it's a truly rewarding journey for those with an open mind (and having read some of your posts, you seem to have that in spades..  ;)  )  I guess I mentioned it because Mahler really is the ONLY composer I felt I've ever had to do that with... when I was going through my 3 Bruckner cycles, I was chopping and changing out of lots of other composers at the same time, but Mahler jujst seemd to be significantly more daunting as prospect...

I'm not sure if I have an open-mind about music, but I do know what I enjoy, which, I suppose counts for something. I tend to favor 20th Century music the most, but the late-Romantics are some favorites as well. By the way, I'm not sure if I welcomed to the forum yet, but I hope you're enjoying your experience here so far. I've made some good friends here and there are so many knowledgeable people here. From Baroque to Contemporary music, there's somebody here who has dedicated their listening time exploring and educating themselves about their favorite time period.

The man in my avatar, Charles Koechlin, is my musical soulmate.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Jared on November 14, 2011, 12:22:35 PM
^^ thanks for the welcome...  8)

my tastes are fairly eclectic, from Tallis to Sibelius with lots in between, although much 20th Century is, thus far, a weak spot with me... but hey, life is a steep learning curve! (as I just appear to have denied in the Non-Classical Music Thread... ho-humm..  :D )
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Mirror Image on November 14, 2011, 12:28:06 PM
^^ thanks for the welcome...  8)

my tastes are fairly eclectic, from Tallis to Sibelius with lots in between, although much 20th Century is, thus far, a weak spot with me... but hey, life is a steep learning curve! (as I just appear to have denied in the Non-Classical Music Thread... ho-humm..  :D )

Ah, love Sibelius. I still have a soft-spot for his music. I went on a huge Sibelius shopping spree many years ago. Now, I've ran out of things to buy. ;) Anyway, you say the 20th Century is a weak spot for you? Could you elaborate on this?
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Jared on November 14, 2011, 12:34:14 PM
^^ yes, I sometimes joke that my musical taste in CM takes in most things up to 1913, plus Vaughan-Williams, Sibelius and Nielsen...  :-[

am really hitting the Rennaissance stuff at present... it's a wonderful journey, but am quite sure that in time, my knowledge and appreciation will expand to include more 20th Cent...
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Mirror Image on November 14, 2011, 12:43:28 PM
^^ yes, I sometimes joke that my musical taste in CM takes in most things up to 1913, plus Vaughan-Williams, Sibelius and Nielsen...  :-[

am really hitting the Rennaissance stuff at present... it's a wonderful journey, but am quite sure that in time, my knowledge and appreciation will expand to include more 20th Cent...

For me, I don't listen to a lot of post-WII composers. I'm not sure why, but I'm just not too keen on what's going on in classical music these days. I hope Karl Henning doesn't beat me up for saying that. 8)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Jared on November 14, 2011, 12:48:36 PM
For me, I don't listen to a lot of post-WII composers. I'm not sure why, but I'm just not too keen on what's going on in classical music these days. I hope Karl Henning doesn't beat me up for saying that. 8)

Let's just say that he won't be dedicating this year's Thanksgiving Motet to you...  ;D
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Mirror Image on November 14, 2011, 12:52:15 PM
Let's just say that he won't be dedicating this year's Thanksgiving Motet to you...  ;D

 :P
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: jowcol on November 14, 2011, 02:54:45 PM
I think we've all had powerful experiences, and emotional experiences, as a result of listening to music.  Which is not the same thing as saying that these things are contained within the music.  But it's certainly a tangle, and quite often an enjoyable tangle.

I've been a bit too busy to jump on this thread,as I would but a couple of points to ponder.    I agree, it's a tangle, and a fascinating one.  And I do think it is more of how we react and any"emotion" in what we hear- but some things tend to create the same reactions, but this is more of a tendency than an absolute.

On a raw acoustic level, there are some common responses people have to types of sound.  Subsonic can be unsettling.  Fingernails on a chalkboard also can set people on edge more then, say, door chimes.   We can open up Helmholtz and think in terms of what is perceived as consonance and dissonance, and think there must be some immutable laws.

However, if we  talk about eternal principles of what is consonance,  it seems that the rules were changing.  Listen to early music, and the minor third is pretty much a dissonant interval, so much so that one common tactic was to end a minor sounding modal tune with a major third (the Picardy  Third) .  To modern ears, this may sound dissonant, while we can listen to a whole minor key work without angst.   (Unless it's by John Tesh).   So, to some degree, there must be some cultural element and experience that shapes how we react.  So, are our reactions a totally matter of sociological conditioning?

But, to contradict myself again (I like doing that), if you expose someone to an Indian Raga for the first time,  they will definitely react to the static harmonic quality, the presence of natural tempered intervals, and the different approach to rhythm.   It is not necessary to  school them in the Carnatic or Hindustani tradition to get this reaction.  There is a more raw and basic reaction.  Are there immutable laws of "greatness", "dissonance", etc?


But, to contradict myself again, all you need to do is to look at this forum to see that it is hard to find two people from generally the same culture who can agree on the greatness of a Beethoven or a Mozart.  Some people are drawn to different forms, scales, etc.  It was interesting that Scriabin and Rimsky Korsakov both saw colors in different key signatures, but could not agree compoletely, and there was one key that RK could not "see".  I'm definitely drawn to minor scales and modes, and I'm anal enough to sort my Complete Bach by minor vs major.   Why the variation?   Could some of these reactions be genetic, or based on experience? 


The final issue in this big tangle is the battle between the intellect and emotions (the Apollonian vs Dionysiac- where is Saul when you need him?)  Or maybe it isn't a battle, in my way of thinking, but  more of a matter of levels of consciousness, right or left brain, or however you chose to define these modes  inside your head.   Some of the impact of raw sounds, drones, etc, I associate with a more trancelike state, and I usually find Indian, modal jazz, and minamlist stuff great for that sort of reaction. There is a lot of emphasis on timbre, and repetition, and typically a limited harmonic palatte.  But if I'm in a more "wakeful" mood, i find this music empty, and I need more complexity and more structure.     Bach seems to hit both lobes at the  same time for me.  In collecting music, I try to find something for each mood-- although it may be the other way.  I may be selecting the music to alter my mood, rather than reflect it.


One thing Copeland said that I admired is with all of the attention we've given to composers and performers, very little has been done in defining or guiding the listener, which is the third point on the triangle.  Many of the disagreements I've seen on these and other forums is that people tended to assume that everyone else listened the same, and was not bringing a complex set of historical, cultural, and physiological baggage with them.  If it wasn't such a confusing tangle,  music, and the perception of it, would not be half as interesting.


Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: jowcol on November 14, 2011, 02:57:35 PM
I think there is some universality to music and the relation of emotions to music or sounds.   And of course as time has gone on with the increasing globalisation this universality has been more and more evident.  Also I don't think emotion is an abstraction, it's a very real thing with which we react to something.  Emotions can combine our senses with an intellectual response to something.   If we are talking about very precise meanings then obviously that may not specifically apply to a particular listener, but a general feeling can still apply and link composer, performer and listener.  That's why you don't necessarily have to read music critics and understand all about a composer's life to enjoy music.  I still think the best way is to just listen to more of a composer's or a particular period's music to get more inside it and past its surface sound to its intent.

Really I think music touches on emotions and the intellect, both are combined.  It may well be the same with other arts too, though the intellectual side is more to the surface perhaps in most other cases.  With music, initially at least,  we take it more directly as its pure state (sound) rather than as just an artwork.  And music is enjoyed by most people, it is easy to take in somehow compared to other arts, maybe because it is so uniquitous now and we are so used to hearing it all the time thanks to recording and transmitting technology.  This is a positive in that people can be more open to music, but might be a negative as people take it for granted without thinking about it more.  Food I think is different, to most people it is largely sustenance (and purely sensory and not intellectual) and not a particular expression of intent.

I didn't read this before posting, but I strongly agree with most of this.  The only bone I'd pick is that Music is sustenance for some of us....
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: madaboutmahler on November 14, 2011, 03:00:34 PM
This is one of the problems I have is that get burnt out on certain composers from listening to them over a long period of time. Now, I try not to do this too often and listen to a variety of composers. I'm finding a lot of enjoyment in Mahler right now and I've always been amazed by how much of a genius he was.

 :)  :)   :)  :)
And one of my goals of the year has been achieved! :)
I am so glad that you are enjoying Mahler more now John! Keep us updated with your Mahler journey! :)
About the Abbado recordings, yes, that 7th is certainly one of the best! For no.7, I also particularly love Rattle's recording! One of the highlights in his cycle in my opinion, along with the excellent 2, 4, 9, 10. :)
Yes, I have heard most of the live Abbado/Berlin Phil Mahler recordings, a particularly excellent 6 and 9!

Haha, here's the Mahler phase I was waiting for ;)

For John, it is finally come! This makes such happy reading! :)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Geo Dude on November 14, 2011, 04:55:29 PM
Let's see...

I feel that Brahms equaled or exceeded Beethoven in every genre he (Brahms) attempted, with the exception of string quartets and solo piano works.

Following from that, I feel that Brahms was the greatest composer of the romantic period.

Schubert's late string quartets do not appeal to me.  Not yet at least.

Most 20th century music is of little interest to me, with some exceptions (Sibelius, some of Stravinsky's choral work, some Villa Lobos, among others) I simply don't find the musical language(s) used to be appealing.

The interpretation is often one of my favorite elements of HIP performances.

I prefer composers' symphonies to be played by the number of performers they were written for, rather than using larger forces just for the sake of a 'big' sound.

I prefer Bach on the harpsichord to Bach on the piano.

For that matter, I prefer most music to be played on the instruments it was written for.

With some notable exceptions, I prefer to spend my money by exploring the obscure works of my favorite composers, rather than exploring obscure composers.

I think that's enough for now.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Mirror Image on November 14, 2011, 05:12:17 PM
:)  :)   :)  :)
And one of my goals of the year has been achieved! :)
I am so glad that you are enjoying Mahler more now John! Keep us updated with your Mahler journey! :)
About the Abbado recordings, yes, that 7th is certainly one of the best! For no.7, I also particularly love Rattle's recording! One of the highlights in his cycle in my opinion, along with the excellent 2, 4, 9, 10. :)
Yes, I have heard most of the live Abbado/Berlin Phil Mahler recordings, a particularly excellent 6 and 9!

Thanks, Daniel. I'm sure you and my Dad could talk about Mahler for many hours. You should see his collection of Mahler. I agree that the 7th in Rattle's cycle is fantastic.

I hate to say this to you but I'm about to start a Bartok phase, but I will be listening to Mahler too. By the way, did you get that Bartok/Boulez set on DG? You will find many musical treasures in this box.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: starrynight on November 15, 2011, 03:31:17 AM
I feel that Brahms equaled or exceeded Beethoven in every genre he (Brahms) attempted, with the exception of string quartets and solo piano works.


They are rather big exceptions.  What about wind music (purely or very largely for wind instruments)?  Beethoven better there too?
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Jared on November 15, 2011, 04:43:10 AM
Let's see...

Wow...

I feel that Brahms equaled or exceeded Beethoven in every genre he (Brahms) attempted, with the exception of string quartets and solo piano works.

I don't quite agree with this, but Brahms wasn't far behind..

Following from that, I feel that Brahms was the greatest composer of the romantic period.

Taking LvB out of the equation, I agree with you...  

Schubert's late string quartets do not appeal to me.  Not yet at least.

They are masterpieces.. try the more accessible Quintets & Octet first, then come back to them (via Quartetto Italiano)

Most 20th century music is of little interest to me, with some exceptions (Sibelius, some of Stravinsky's choral work, some Villa Lobos, among others) I simply don't find the musical language(s) used to be appealing.

I personally would add RVW and Nielsen, but take away Stravinsky, but agree with your general sentiment..

The interpretation is often one of my favorite elements of HIP performances.

I can see that... I also like the textures...

I prefer composers' symphonies to be played by the number of performers they were written for, rather than using larger forces just for the sake of a 'big' sound.

agree completely (unless it's Klemperer's Missa Solemnis of course, for which I'm willing to make an exception...)

I prefer Bach on the harpsichord to Bach on the piano.

I like both in equal measure, but I really struggle to appreciate the Organ.

For that matter, I prefer most music to be played on the instruments it was written for.

yes, although Catrin Finch's reworked Goldbergs for Harp are certainly interesting..

With some notable exceptions, I prefer to spend my money by exploring the obscure works of my favorite composers, rather than exploring obscure composers.

I tend to agree here, too...  

I think that's enough for now.

 8)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on November 15, 2011, 04:49:16 AM
Domenico Scarlatti is a giant of music who was ahead of his time. This probably wouldn't qualify as unpopular if his works received more attention. I've heard people say that Bach is the only Baroque composer worth noting.

D. Scarlatti is certainly one of the greats.
 
I don't doubt that you have . . . but I am pleased to say I have never heard anyone so cloth-eared as to say that Bach is the only &c.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: canninator on November 15, 2011, 05:14:44 AM
Interesting thread. Well here's (one of) mine

The true measure of a composer lies in their work for a solo instrument (whatever instrument it may be). If it is lacking, then so is that composer.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on November 15, 2011, 06:01:15 AM
The true measure of a composer lies in their work for a solo instrument (whatever instrument it may be). If it is lacking, then so is that composer.

I don't think that will wash at all, at all.  An interesting idea;  but, no:  a flawed litmus test.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: canninator on November 15, 2011, 06:22:26 AM
I don't think that will wash at all, at all.  An interesting idea;  but, no:  a flawed litmus test.

Of my many flaws, this is among the most insignificant. In fact, were one to observe my flaws as a parade, this one would be barely noticeable. This flaw would still be polishing its bugle while other, more obvious and flagrant flaws, would be banging their drums to some inspecting dictator.  :D
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: chasmaniac on November 15, 2011, 06:28:42 AM
Of my many flaws, this is among the most insignificant. In fact, were one to observe my flaws as a parade, this one would be barely noticeable. This flaw would still be polishing its bugle while other, more obvious and flagrant flaws, would be banging their drums to some inspecting dictator.  :D

Meh, you call those flaws?!  8)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Geo Dude on November 15, 2011, 06:59:26 AM
They are rather big exceptions.  What about wind music (purely or very largely for wind instruments)?  Beethoven better there too?

I agree that they are rather big exceptions.  Beethoven was an unparalleled genius when it came to both (very important) categories and I do not mean to demean him in order to elevate Brahms.  I apologize if it came across that way. 

I am not familiar with Beethoven's works for winds, so I can't comment on that.  Thanks for reminding me of a gap in my knowledge I need to fill, though.



Jared:  I view Beethoven as a classical composer (albeit, an unusually personality-filled one), rather than a romantic.

...And yes, Klemperer's Missa Solemnis is an exception. :D  I do prefer smaller forces if they're called for, but a great interpretation is a great interpretation.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: madaboutmahler on November 15, 2011, 08:58:37 AM
Interesting thread. Well here's (one of) mine

The true measure of a composer lies in their work for a solo instrument (whatever instrument it may be). If it is lacking, then so is that composer.

How?! Taking Mahler for example - he wrote no solo music, but (here is another what may be unpopular opinion)
MAHLER IS THE GREATEST COMPOSER OF ALL!

I am sure many of you will disagree with me, and hopefully some will agree as well. But this is a view I definitely believe!

Thanks, Daniel. I'm sure you and my Dad could talk about Mahler for many hours. You should see his collection of Mahler. I agree that the 7th in Rattle's cycle is fantastic.

I hate to say this to you but I'm about to start a Bartok phase, but I will be listening to Mahler too. By the way, did you get that Bartok/Boulez set on DG? You will find many musical treasures in this box.

haha :) I could talk to anyone who loves Mahler for many hours! :) I am fascinated by his collection - which complete cycles does he have? Don't suppose you could upload a photo of it to one of the 'cd collection' threads here?
Glad that you will still listen to Mahler too! The Bartok/Boulez set is resting in my amazon basket at the moment, after the move from the wishlist. Looking forward to hearing it.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Mirror Image on November 15, 2011, 09:26:11 AM
haha :) I could talk to anyone who loves Mahler for many hours! :) I am fascinated by his collection - which complete cycles does he have? Don't suppose you could upload a photo of it to one of the 'cd collection' threads here?

Glad that you will still listen to Mahler too! The Bartok/Boulez set is resting in my amazon basket at the moment, after the move from the wishlist. Looking forward to hearing it.

What Mahler box sets does my Dad own? He owns all of them. 8) Of course when he was collecting, there have been several instances where a performance has been duplicated, but this is a common problem with collectors. Since there are so many new Mahler recordings coming out, I don't think he collects Mahler much anymore. Once another conductor completes a cycle, is when when he said he will buy some more recordings. But he owns every complete cycle and half-cycle available. He owns a ton of one shot performances too.

Edit: I just asked him what set he lacked and the the only one is MTT's cycle. He owns several of MTT's newer recordings, but he hasn't completed the cycle.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: madaboutmahler on November 15, 2011, 09:29:24 AM
What Mahler box sets does my Dad own? He owns all of them. 8) Of course when he was collecting, there have been several instances where a performance has been duplicated, but this is a common problem with collectors. Since there are so many new Mahler recordings coming out, I don't think he collects Mahler much anymore. Once another conductor completes a cycle, is when when he said he will buy some more recordings. But he owns every complete cycle and half-cycle available. He owns a ton of one shot performances too.

Edit: I just asked him what set he lacked and the the only one is MTT's cycle. He owns several of MTT's newer recordings, but he hasn't completed the cycle.

 :o

All of them.... (apart from MTT)... gosh... I really would love to meet your dad! ;) Which is his favourite cycle? And which is his favourite Mahler symphony? He should join GMG!  ;D
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on November 15, 2011, 09:30:11 AM
For me, I don't listen to a lot of post-WII composers. I'm not sure why, but I'm just not too keen on what's going on in classical music these days. I hope Karl Henning doesn't beat me up for saying that. 8)

I've wondered if you left Facebook as a result of my asking you to go hear a colleague's opera performed . . . .
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Geo Dude on November 15, 2011, 09:43:29 AM
Interesting thread. Well here's (one of) mine

The true measure of a composer lies in their work for a solo instrument (whatever instrument it may be). If it is lacking, then so is that composer.

I don't intend to argue this point with you, but I'm curious for an explanation of why you feel this way.  I am sure it will be interesting.

By the way, which composers, using this metric, do you feel are say...the top five?
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: TheGSMoeller on November 15, 2011, 09:53:30 AM
I love Philip Glass's constantly repeating arpeggios music....






Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Brahmsian on November 15, 2011, 09:55:47 AM
Giggling is something little girls do. Just letting you know.

Jowcol - add to next bingo card!!   ;D
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Mirror Image on November 15, 2011, 09:56:54 AM
:o

All of them.... (apart from MTT)... gosh... I really would love to meet your dad! ;) Which is his favourite cycle? And which is his favourite Mahler symphony? He should join GMG!  ;D

Yep, all of them. :) My Dad is a cool person and has always had a passion for music. His favorite Mahler cycle? It's Bernstein's first cycle with the NY Philharmonic. My Dad's favorite Mahler symphony is the 5th.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: TheGSMoeller on November 15, 2011, 10:01:25 AM
Yep, all of them. :) My Dad is a cool person and has always had a passion for music. His favorite Mahler cycle? It's Bernstein's first cycle with the NY Philharmonic. My Dad's favorite Mahler symphony is the 5th.


5th is probably my least liked symphony, but contains one of my favorite Mahler movements, the third mvt. Scherzo, I do truly love it, being a former horn player I used to search for all the great horn solos and this was one I used to always want to play.

Otherwise I skip the 2nd and 5th mvts.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Brahmsian on November 15, 2011, 10:07:53 AM
Outside of Vivaldi, I find Baroque orchestral music boring as dishwater.  I love Bach's instrumental works though, for cello, violin and piano.  Everything Handel bores me, and I'll never listen to Handel's Messiah, EVER again.

I have a love/hate relationship with Stravinsky.  His early and middle stuff is amazing, but his late works (not all though) bore me to tears.  I can't stand Les Noces.

I don't like English Opera, or any works sung in English language.  I think this is a rebellious/aversion phase from my pop/rock music listening days, and I hope this 'bigotness' of mine regarding this will go away someday.  :(

Schumann is underrated, and Schubert is nearly as underrated (sorry David)! ;)

Sergei Taneyev is the most underrated composer in Classical Music - period.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Brahmsian on November 15, 2011, 10:09:36 AM
I now prefer Mozart's Symphony No. 39 over his 40th and 41st symphonies.  :o

My favourite Mozart string quartet is the No. 20 Hoffmeister quartet, K. 499  :D
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: TheGSMoeller on November 15, 2011, 10:13:16 AM

I don't like English Opera, or any works sung in English language.  I think this is a rebellious/aversion phase from my pop/rock music listening days, and I hope this 'bigotness' of mine regarding this will go away someday.  :(



This used to be an issue I had also, but Britten changed that for me.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Brahmsian on November 15, 2011, 10:14:05 AM

This used to be an issue I had also, but Britten changed that for me.

Thanks Greg, perhaps I'll give that a shot.  :)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: TheGSMoeller on November 15, 2011, 10:17:58 AM
Thanks Greg, perhaps I'll give that a shot.  :)


You could try something like Britten's Midsummer Night's Dream, it's light and it's Shakespeare so that could help with possibly being familiar with the words.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: madaboutmahler on November 15, 2011, 10:19:16 AM
Yep, all of them. :) My Dad is a cool person and has always had a passion for music. His favorite Mahler cycle? It's Bernstein's first cycle with the NY Philharmonic. My Dad's favorite Mahler symphony is the 5th.

Get him to join GMG then! ;)
Interesting choices... surprised he didn't go for the DG Bernstein instead of Sony Bernstein... interesting! :) Which is least favourite Mahler cycle, out of interest?


5th is probably my least liked symphony, but contains one of my favorite Mahler movements, the third mvt. Scherzo, I do truly love it, being a former horn player I used to search for all the great horn solos and this was one I used to always want to play.


I wouldn't call the 5th my least favourite, I couldn't call any of the Mahler symphonies a least favourite! I agree with you about the Scherzo though, one of my favourite Mahler movements as well! :)

I have a love/hate relationship with Stravinsky.  His early and middle stuff is amazing, but his late works (not all though) bore me to tears.  I can't stand Les Noces.


Completely agree with you on this, Ray. Absolutely love The Firebird, The Rite of Spring, Petrushka, Symphony in Three Movements, but find many of his other works plainly a bore... sorry to those Stravinsky fans out there!

Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: chasmaniac on November 15, 2011, 10:22:50 AM
E e y h n a d l b e s me

Must be interference on the toobs. Did you say something?  ;D
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: TheGSMoeller on November 15, 2011, 10:23:43 AM

I wouldn't call the 5th my least favourite, I couldn't call any of the Mahler symphonies a least favourite! I agree with you about the Scherzo though, one of my favourite Mahler movements as well! :)



I also really enjoy the Scherzo from No.7, again the best mvt. from that symphony...although No.7 is along side No.3 & No.9 as my favorite.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Brahmsian on November 15, 2011, 10:25:11 AM
Must be interference on the toobs. Did you say something?  ;D

 :D Clever!!  ;D
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Mirror Image on November 15, 2011, 10:29:20 AM
Get him to join GMG then! ;)
Interesting choices... surprised he didn't go for the DG Bernstein instead of Sony Bernstein... interesting! :) Which is least favourite Mahler cycle, out of interest?

I wouldn't call the 5th my least favourite, I couldn't call any of the Mahler symphonies a least favourite! I agree with you about the Scherzo though, one of my favourite Mahler movements as well! :)

Completely agree with you on this, Ray. Absolutely love The Firebird, The Rite of Spring, Petrushka, Symphony in Three Movements, but find many of his other works plainly a bore... sorry to those Stravinsky fans out there!

I can surely see why my Dad picked Bernstein I. It's absolutely exhilarating music-making in the highest order. Bernstein was on fire and the NY Philharmonic give it their all.

My Dad doesn't like Internet forums and prefers the older Internet way of communicating: email. 8).

His choice of the 5th doesn't come as a big surprise to me as he was, in his younger years, a trumpeter and played in the school band. The first movement of the 5th (Trauermarsch) is where I think my Dad found a kinship with Mahler --- that wonderful trumpet solo. I think the 5th is a fine symphony too, but it's not my favorite Mahler symphony, but I can understand why my Dad loves it so much. My favorite Mahler symphony is the 7th. There's nothing else like in all of his music.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Brahmsian on November 15, 2011, 10:32:53 AM
I can surely see why my Dad picked Bernstein I. It's absolutely exhilarating music-making in the highest order. Bernstein was on fire and the NY Philharmonic give it their all.

My Dad doesn't like Internet forums and prefers the older Internet way of communicating: email. 8).

His choice of the 5th doesn't come as a big surprise to me as he was, in his younger years, a trumpeter and played in the school band. The first movement of the 5th (Trauermarsch) is where I think my Dad found a kinship with Mahler --- that wonderful trumpet solo. I think the 5th is a fine symphony too, but it's not my favorite Mahler symphony, but I can understand why my Dad loves it so much. My favorite Mahler symphony is the 7th. There's nothing else like in all of his music.

Hi John,

I'm curious - how does your father view the Tennstedt/LPO Mahler recordings?  And what is his favourite recording of Mahler's 6th (for the Andante moderato movement)?

Thanks!  :)

Ray
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on November 15, 2011, 10:35:47 AM
I'm a great Stravinsky fan, and Ray and I are still mates : )
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: TheGSMoeller on November 15, 2011, 10:38:07 AM
Since we are on Stravinsky...

His Neoclassical period produced his greatest music. <----(this is an unpopular opinion and cannot be supported with facts.)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Mirror Image on November 15, 2011, 10:42:45 AM
Hi John,

I'm curious - how does your father view the Tennstedt/LPO Mahler recordings?  And what is his favourite recording of Mahler's 6th (for the Andante moderato movement)?

Thanks!  :)

Ray

Ray, I remember my Dad having a very favorable response to Tennstedt's Mahler recordings. I'm not sure how much he listens to them, but know he does like them. His favorite Mahler 6th recording? Probably Bernstein I. This is his favorite cycle, so I assume he likes everything about it.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Brahmsian on November 15, 2011, 10:45:59 AM
Ray, I remember my Dad having a very favorable response to Tennstedt's Mahler recordings. I'm not sure how much he listens to them, but know he does like them. His favorite Mahler 6th recording? Probably Bernstein I. This is his favorite cycle, so I assume he likes everything about it.

Thanks, John!  :)  Gee, I wish you Dad would sign up here.  Perhaps he could help put the 'Mahler Mania thread' over top of 'Havergal Brian thread'!  :D
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: madaboutmahler on November 15, 2011, 10:46:15 AM

I also really enjoy the Scherzo from No.7, again the best mvt. from that symphony...although No.7 is along side No.3 & No.9 as my favorite.

The scherzo from no.7 is certainly amazing. Although my favourite movement from that symphony would be m1. :) Love the symphony as a whole really! My absolute favourite Mahler symphonies would be no.6 and 9 definitely. After that it is difficult to choose between them!

I can surely see why my Dad picked Bernstein I. It's absolutely exhilarating music-making in the highest order. Bernstein was on fire and the NY Philharmonic give it their all.

My Dad doesn't like Internet forums and prefers the older Internet way of communicating: email. 8).

His choice of the 5th doesn't come as a big surprise to me as he was, in his younger years, a trumpeter and played in the school band. The first movement of the 5th (Trauermarsch) is where I think my Dad found a kinship with Mahler --- that wonderful trumpet solo. I think the 5th is a fine symphony too, but it's not my favorite Mahler symphony, but I can understand why my Dad loves it so much. My favorite Mahler symphony is the 7th. There's nothing else like in all of his music.

Certainly! Great performances, although I personally think the DG recordings are better, more excitment, passion, power, beauty. Plus the Vienna Philharmonic are absolutely amazing!
Ah, I see ;)

I see what you mean about no.7, nothing else like it! To be accurate, each Mahler symphony is different than the other! :)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Mirror Image on November 15, 2011, 10:58:59 AM
Thanks, John!  :)  Gee, I wish you Dad would sign up here.  Perhaps he could help put the 'Mahler Mania thread' over top of 'Havergal Brian thread'!  :D

:D I've told him about GMG, but he's not too interested. He has so many other interests besides music that take up a lot of his time like film, television, collecting rare watches, among other things. I have other interest too like video games, film, television (preferably early to mid 90s), etc.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: jowcol on November 15, 2011, 11:02:41 AM
Jowcol - add to next bingo card!!   ;D

Actually, Bingo is not the name of the game this time around... A bit busy at work, but the next one is nearly done...
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Mirror Image on November 15, 2011, 11:10:10 AM
The scherzo from no.7 is certainly amazing. Although my favourite movement from that symphony would be m1. :) Love the symphony as a whole really! My absolute favourite Mahler symphonies would be no.6 and 9 definitely. After that it is difficult to choose between them!

Certainly! Great performances, although I personally think the DG recordings are better, more excitment, passion, power, beauty. Plus the Vienna Philharmonic are absolutely amazing!
Ah, I see ;)

I see what you mean about no.7, nothing else like it! To be accurate, each Mahler symphony is different than the other! :)

I disagree that Bernstein II is more passionate than Bernstein I. Just comparing the 2nd symphony, Bernstein I seems more energized and he really lets the orchestra cut loose, whereas Bernstein II, while still very good, sounds a little lackluster and not as driven. I tend to favor Bernstein's early recordings over his older ones in general anyway.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: jowcol on November 15, 2011, 11:18:23 AM
You are a humorless twit who could use a page out of the insult comic's handbook. And Cage is mindless crap that any unmusical shithead could pull off. Now if you excuse me, I'm off to the washroom to perform to my latest opus in his honour.

Speaking of which-  It's positively eerie how the author here fuses the image of excretion with the act of creation.  This was the closing  thesis of this humble scholar in the "Through a Brown Mirror Darkly" Chapter of "The Essential James" (link below).

http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,18249.msg503521.html#msg503521 (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,18249.msg503521.html#msg503521)

His constant mindfulness of the creative act permeates every pore of his being.   And the fact that he is willing to share his waste products with us, summoned from the core of his creative essence for the honor of another artist, is something that we should be grateful for.

What he has managed to accomplish, with the precision of  a jeweler and the passion of a saint, is to distill the entire chapter into a phrase of pure magic, and, if I dare say so myself, GENIUS.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: madaboutmahler on November 15, 2011, 11:23:30 AM
I disagree that Bernstein II is more passionate than Bernstein I. Just comparing the 2nd symphony, Bernstein I seems more energized and he really lets the orchestra cut loose, whereas Bernstein II, while still very good, sounds a little lackluster and not as driven. I tend to favor Bernstein's early recordings over his older ones in general anyway.

hmmm... Well, I think it depends which symphony we are discussing. For no.2, perhaps yes. But taking no.6 as an example, Bernstein II for me is so much more brilliant, making Bernstein I sound dull in comparison. But I suppose there are some symphonies that I prefer Bernstein I for. Another issue I have is the sound, to which I much prefer Bernstein II. :)

Statement....
Surely Haydn was more of a genius that Mozart?
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on November 15, 2011, 11:26:37 AM
Surely Haydn was more of a genius that Mozart?

Surely such a comparison is futile?
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: chasmaniac on November 15, 2011, 11:28:09 AM
Statement....
Surely Haydn was more of a genius that Mozart?

In lieu of a definitive statement by the Gurnatron 5500, may I say, Welcome to the club!  :D
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on November 15, 2011, 11:30:58 AM
I'll never believe that Gurn would sign on to such a sentiment.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: madaboutmahler on November 15, 2011, 11:35:46 AM
In lieu of a definitive statement by the Gurnatron 5500, may I say, Welcome to the club!  :D

haha :) Thank you!

Surely such a comparison is futile?
Well, I'm just saying - maybe Mozart was capable of more beauty, power etc, but Haydn was the greater genius and did more to revolutionise music.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: chasmaniac on November 15, 2011, 11:43:11 AM
Surely such a comparison is futile?

Well, yes.  :-[

But it's fun!  ;D
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on November 15, 2011, 11:44:38 AM
Well, I'm just saying - maybe Mozart was capable of more beauty, power etc, but Haydn was the greater genius and did more to revolutionise music.

And why is "did more to revolutionise music" greater genius than "capable of more beauty, power, &c."?
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: madaboutmahler on November 15, 2011, 12:45:45 PM
And why is "did more to revolutionise music" greater genius than "capable of more beauty, power, &c."?

Well, the one who is more daringly original tends to be a greater genius... I suppose "capable of more beauty, power" would come under being a great composer, not all great composers have to be geniuses!

Thought of the day! :)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on November 15, 2011, 12:56:52 PM
Well, the one who is more daringly original tends to be a greater genius...

Thank you for conceding that Mozart is the greater genius. Exhibit A:  the piano concerti.  Exhibit B: the da Ponte operas and Die Zauberflöte.  Exhibit C: the Requiem.  Exhibit D: the clarinet concerto.

You know, I should not normally have compared the genius of Haydn with that of Mozart, but would content myself with enjoying their several demonstrations of musical genius; but now that you frame the matter so clearly, you're right: Haydn is but an also-ran.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on November 15, 2011, 12:59:23 PM
This is cast into sharper relief, for my having just reviewed sound samples of the Haydn keyboard concerti.  Pleasant works, well written, and indeed, the work of a master.  But works which Mozart's concerti leave in the dust.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Gurn Blanston on November 15, 2011, 01:10:08 PM
This is cast into sharper relief, for my having just reviewed sound samples of the Haydn keyboard concerti.  Pleasant works, well written, and indeed, the work of a master.  But works which Mozart's concerti leave in the dust.

Not to dispute the genius of Mozart, but you pick a loaded example. If you compared symphonies instead of piano concertos, Haydn leaves Mozart gasping in the dust. Same with string quartets. Same with piano trios. The piano concertos were composed by a virtuoso keyboardist needing a vehicle to make himself a public figure. They served that purpose admirably. Haydn's were composed to play in a country church in the middle of a mass. Hardly a fair comparison... :)

8)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: madaboutmahler on November 15, 2011, 01:28:12 PM
Thank you for conceding that Mozart is the greater genius. Exhibit A:  the piano concerti.  Exhibit B: the da Ponte operas and Die Zauberflöte.  Exhibit C: the Requiem.  Exhibit D: the clarinet concerto.

You know, I should not normally have compared the genius of Haydn with that of Mozart, but would content myself with enjoying their several demonstrations of musical genius; but now that you frame the matter so clearly, you're right: Haydn is but an also-ran.


I agree with Gurn, not really a fair comparison! Haydn did not write many piano concerti and these are not considered his greatest works anyway. It is really the symphony that we should turn to for Haydn's genius. I would have to say that I personally prefer any of Mozart's last six or so symphonies over any of Haydn's, but if we take the complete cycle as a whole, Haydn would have to come out on top. Plus, Haydn pretty well created the symphony! For a while, in his earlier symphonies, Mozart just followed Haydn's example. Of course this changed when later on though. Really, it's only when it gets into number 30's and 40's that Mozart's symphonies can truly be called masterpieces...
In my humble opinion of course...

And remember, I never argued or wished to argue that Mozart was not a genius! The Requiem is a perfect work to show that!
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: canninator on November 15, 2011, 01:44:23 PM
I don't intend to argue this point with you, but I'm curious for an explanation of why you feel this way.  I am sure it will be interesting.

By the way, which composers, using this metric, do you feel are say...the top five?

A rule of thumb rather than iron clad rule. top 5 off the top of my head by this metric. Beethoven, Bach, Schoenberg, Debussy, and Feldman (controversial!). There are clear exceptions, those who wrote predominantly for solo instrument (Chopin, Liszt, Sor), those for whom the solo instrument is not necessarily a part of there musical philosophy (spectralists, although Grisey is so good in my mind because of his treatment of the viola), then there are those who pretty much ignored the genre but who to my mind are still giants (Bruckner). By and large I Don't connect with some, to many, great composers but for who I don't rate their solo instrument output (Ligetti(bar some key pieces) and Henze spring to my mind). Barraque is interesting because his piano sonata is so great but I'm not a fan of his remaining small output. There are so many exceptions but it's just something that seems to fit with me so IDont mind being thought wrong, after all I know I am!

btw add MEssiaen to my expanded top 5

excuse typing, darn ipads
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: DavidRoss on November 15, 2011, 01:52:25 PM
Not to dispute the genius of Mozart, but you pick a loaded example. If you compared symphonies instead of piano concertos, Haydn leaves Mozart gasping in the dust.
Tastes differ, even among reasonable folks.  As much as I like Haydn's symphonies, I would take just one of Mozart's -- the 40th -- over ALL of Haydn's.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: starrynight on November 15, 2011, 02:13:44 PM
Ok let's make a better comparison, let's assume Haydn had died at 35 like Mozart and then compare their achievements.  :D
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: starrynight on November 15, 2011, 02:20:40 PM
but if we take the complete cycle as a whole, Haydn would have to come out on top. Plus, Haydn pretty well created the symphony! For a while, in his earlier symphonies, Mozart just followed Haydn's example. Of course this changed when later on though. Really, it's only when it gets into number 30's and 40's that Mozart's symphonies can truly be called masterpieces...

Mozart was no slouch even in his earlier symphonies, and he was influenced by more than just Haydn's symphonies.  But overall Haydn achieved more in the symphonic genre, not as he invented the genre (which is questionable anyway) but because of the scale of the achievement.  Mozart's acheivement in that area is also great though and he is still among the greatest in that genre.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: madaboutmahler on November 15, 2011, 02:47:06 PM
Ok let's make a better comparison, let's assume Haydn had died at 35 like Mozart and then compare their achievements.  :D

Well... that would change it a lot....
Mozart's acheivement in that area is also great though and he is still among the greatest in that genre.

I agree!
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: jowcol on November 15, 2011, 02:48:30 PM
The scherzo from no.7 is certainly amazing. Although my favourite movement from that symphony would be m1. :) Love the symphony as a whole really! My absolute favourite Mahler symphonies would be no.6 and 9 definitely. After that it is difficult to choose between them!

Okay, I'll have to confess, I just sat through Mahler's 6th (Bernstein), and really enjoyed it more than I have have before.  Definitely worth a few more listens.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: The Six on November 15, 2011, 06:38:38 PM
Interesting thread. Well here's (one of) mine

The true measure of a composer lies in their work for a solo instrument (whatever instrument it may be). If it is lacking, then so is that composer.

I don't think it's a measure of their worth, but with many composers their solo works are the best indicators of their style. I'd say the Op. 87 Preludes and Fugues sum up Shostakovitch much better than any symphony or string quartet of his does.

For another thought, a think there's a basic rule in music that is often derided or undervalued by classical music people: if it sounds
good, it is good. I know it's fun to try and think of different ways to praise music, but we can get too caught up in who's a genius and so and so is the most important composer of whenever. "Ravel wrote the most important piano works of the 20th Century!" What? Unless you're using "important" as a synonym for "influential," I have no idea what that means.

Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: DavidRoss on November 15, 2011, 10:05:27 PM
"Ravel wrote the most important piano works of the 20th Century!" What? Unless you're using "important" as a synonym for "influential," I have no idea what that means.
I'll be happy to translate: "Ravel wrote the most important piano works of the 20th Century!" = "I like Ravel more than I like other 20th C. composers for piano."
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: starrynight on November 16, 2011, 01:03:38 AM
For another thought, a think there's a basic rule in music that is often derided or undervalued by classical music people: if it sounds
good, it is good. I know it's fun to try and think of different ways to praise music, but we can get too caught up in who's a genius and so and so is the most important composer of whenever. "Ravel wrote the most important piano works of the 20th Century!" What? Unless you're using "important" as a synonym for "influential," I have no idea what that means.

I agree.  Even really good composers wrote weak works sometimes, they are human beings not gods.  It shouldn't have to be about being a fan of someone of not, just about liking music you think is good or not.  I've never found big generalisations too helpful.  And as I always say 'influential' is never that important to me, it is no measure of worth except to someone who is more interested in the history than the music.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: canninator on November 16, 2011, 01:19:23 AM
I don't think it's a measure of their worth, but with many composers their solo works are the best indicators of their style. I'd say the Op. 87 Preludes and Fugues sum up Shostakovitch much better than any symphony or string quartet of his does.

What an interesting take. Maybe this is what I am really connecting with in the solo works. Not my (flawed) appraisal of worth but my (subjective) connection with their style that I map onto their other works. Thanks for that.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Elgarian on November 16, 2011, 02:16:16 AM
I can't think that any composer has solved any philosophical problems with a symphony.

Doesn't it depend on what you consider to be a philosophical problem though, Mike?

The overwhelmingly most important reason why I immerse myself in the arts again and again is because deep engagement with works of art resolves (at least temporarily) the anxiety of nagging existential questions of the kind: 'why am I here?' 'what's the meaning of life?' etc. (I don't say that only art can do this, please note, but merely that art has the potential to do it.)

If I'm looking attentively at a painting, or listening to a symphony, to the extent that my perceptions are fully occupied and extended by that activity, philosophical questions of meaning become insignificant. The present moment becomes so enriched by what I might crudely call 'directly experienced meaning' that philosophical analysis of the experience becomes redundant. Indeed, philosophical analysis would be counterproductive - if one were foolish enough to switch from one mode to another in midstream it would be seen as a mere distraction from the real business.

I suppose what's happening is that we're moving back and forth across that boundary formed by Wittgenstein's distinction between 'what can be shown', and 'what can be said'. We can argue endlessly about the merits of this symphony compared to that one, or this composer compared to another, dealing purely with aspects of 'what can be said'. But no symphony was written with the purpose of stimulating such a discussion. It was written to show us something. And only when we're engaged with it, when we're listening to it, when we're contemplating with full attention what's being shown, is the existential issue of 'meaning' finally and properly resolved. Any philosophical outlook that doesn't acknowledge this is unsatisfactory, in my view; so in that sense I think composers are indeed solving philosophical problems when they write symphonies.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: chasmaniac on November 16, 2011, 03:20:33 AM
The overwhelmingly most important reason why I immerse myself in the arts again and again is because deep engagement with works of art resolves (at least temporarily) the anxiety of nagging existential questions of the kind: 'why am I here?' 'what's the meaning of life?' etc. (I don't say that only art can do this, please note, but merely that art has the potential to do it.)

If I'm looking attentively at a painting, or listening to a symphony, to the extent that my perceptions are fully occupied and extended by that activity, philosophical questions of meaning become insignificant. The present moment becomes so enriched by what I might crudely call 'directly experienced meaning' that philosophical analysis of the experience becomes redundant. Indeed, philosophical analysis would be counterproductive - if one were foolish enough to switch from one mode to another in midstream it would be seen as a mere distraction from the real business.

I suppose what's happening is that we're moving back and forth across that boundary formed by Wittgenstein's distinction between 'what can be shown', and 'what can be said'. We can argue endlessly about the merits of this symphony compared to that one, or this composer compared to another, dealing purely with aspects of 'what can be said'. But no symphony was written with the purpose of stimulating such a discussion. It was written to show us something. And only when we're engaged with it, when we're listening to it, when we're contemplating with full attention what's being shown, is the existential issue of 'meaning' finally and properly resolved. Any philosophical outlook that doesn't acknowledge this is unsatisfactory, in my view; so in that sense I think composers are indeed solving philosophical problems when they write symphonies.

I HEART this!
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: springrite on November 16, 2011, 03:37:18 AM
QFT

Schumann wrote a couple of good pieces but he's probably the most overrated composer in all of music history.
Schubert wrote a few more good ones, but he's nearly as overrated as Schumann.

Statistically, composers whose name start with "sch" tend to be most over-rated.

PS: The only major exception being Schnabel!
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Christo on November 16, 2011, 03:59:04 AM
PS: The only major exception being Schnabel!

And what about Schschschedrin?  :-X
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Ten thumbs on November 16, 2011, 04:15:57 AM
And what about Schschschedrin?  :-X

Yes, and there's also Shcherbachyov, if you'll excuse the extra h, a very interesting Russian impressionist. The trouble here is not over-rating but never hearing and therefore not rating at all.

For the sake of argument, I'll say that Schubert is still the most under-rated composer of all.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on November 16, 2011, 06:03:25 AM
Not to dispute the genius of Mozart, but you pick a loaded example.

G'day, O Gurn!

To go back to the beginning:


Statement....
Surely Haydn was more of a genius that Mozart?

My subsequent posts were of a nature designed to encourage a sane reconsideration of this curious statement.

Where subtlety failed, the time came for the loaded example.

I don't know if reconsideration has occurred, but we certainly have oblique contradiction:


. . . And remember, I never argued or wished to argue that Mozart was not a genius! The Requiem is a perfect work to show that!
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on November 16, 2011, 07:04:19 AM
Doesn't it depend on what you consider to be a philosophical problem though, Mike?

The overwhelmingly most important reason why I immerse myself in the arts again and again is because deep engagement with works of art resolves (at least temporarily) the anxiety of nagging existential questions of the kind: 'why am I here?' 'what's the meaning of life?' etc. (I don't say that only art can do this, please note, but merely that art has the potential to do it.)

If I'm looking attentively at a painting, or listening to a symphony, to the extent that my perceptions are fully occupied and extended by that activity, philosophical questions of meaning become insignificant. The present moment becomes so enriched by what I might crudely call 'directly experienced meaning' that philosophical analysis of the experience becomes redundant. Indeed, philosophical analysis would be counterproductive - if one were foolish enough to switch from one mode to another in midstream it would be seen as a mere distraction from the real business.

I suppose what's happening is that we're moving back and forth across that boundary formed by Wittgenstein's distinction between 'what can be shown', and 'what can be said'. We can argue endlessly about the merits of this symphony compared to that one, or this composer compared to another, dealing purely with aspects of 'what can be said'. But no symphony was written with the purpose of stimulating such a discussion. It was written to show us something. And only when we're engaged with it, when we're listening to it, when we're contemplating with full attention what's being shown, is the existential issue of 'meaning' finally and properly resolved. Any philosophical outlook that doesn't acknowledge this is unsatisfactory, in my view; so in that sense I think composers are indeed solving philosophical problems when they write symphonies.

I am not the first to observe so, but another fine, upstanding, and mentally toothsome post, Alan.

(Pardon me a moment whilst I toggle . . . .)


I wonder if in music, we compound the usefulness of Wittgenstein’s distinction (what can be shown vs. what can be said) with something on the lines of how what I see relates to what is shown. I do not hereby mean to be obfuscatory, though I love the occasion to use the o. word. So – to the examples!

The cuckoo imitation in the Symphonie pastorale is perhaps typical of comparatively clear demonstration in music . . . we are probably not at any great risk of “seeing” something at wild variance from what Beethoven is “showing.”

Two counter-examples, at several angles:

The oboe in Peter and the Wolf serves very neatly as the character of the Duck; yet (I think) the music alone does not show that – we rely on the spoken narration in order to perceive the oboe as a quacker, and then the subsequent narrative parallels to the changes in musical mood of the oboe line (the ways in which they underpin the developing story, such as the Duck’s agitation at one point, &c.) become something clear to the listener.

Consider the opening of the Beethoven fifth (if you can manage it without a corkscrew . . . sorry!)  That famous opening gesture of the three short notes and the concluding sustained note: dramatic, yes – but, what does it mean?  Could mean any of quite a great number of things, I expect.  But then – where the rubber really meets the road – the answering gesture, a sequential repetition one step lower (and the sustained note a bit longer): what does that mean?  Here’s where the eye may belong to a beholder who writes a 200-page essay on what those four notes mean, and yet it is possible that all Beethoven was “showing” was . . . something intrinsically musical.  (I do not here absolutely claim that he was;  but there is certainly the musical possibility.)

(Last week I read essentially a pop music equivalent of this: rather freighted discussion spreading out to pages, and I’m thinking, “It could just have been a riff that the bass player came up with one day when they were jamming.”)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: DavidRoss on November 16, 2011, 07:06:25 AM
G'day, Karl!

I admire your unfailing good humor and firm but temperate commitment to reason and the belief that everyone is capable of it.  And I listen to Haydn's quartets far more often than Mozart's.  And to Mozart's piano concertos more than anyone else's.  And I believe that those who fail to recognize the Da Ponte operas as the paradigm-shattering achievement they are thus disqualify themselves to judge such things.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: DavidRoss on November 16, 2011, 07:07:37 AM
I am not the first to observe so, but another fine, upstanding, and mentally toothsome post, Alan.
Hear, hear!
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: TheGSMoeller on November 16, 2011, 07:08:11 AM
I have a really difficult time listening to a piece, or even wanting to listen to a piece, that was completed by someone other than the original composer (Elgar No.3, Mahler No.10...)
Maybe someone can help me diffuse this with an clearer understanding of why I should pay more attention to them.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: ibanezmonster on November 16, 2011, 07:09:07 AM
Schshchnakalobovskyevikoff
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: springrite on November 16, 2011, 07:10:11 AM

I admire your unfailing good humor and firm but temperate commitment to reason and the belief that everyone is capable of it.

Most people aren't (though they think they are!), thus the title of the thread, NOT "Unpopular Reasons"
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: springrite on November 16, 2011, 07:11:07 AM
Schshchnakalobovskyevikoff

That's the most vowels I have ever seen in a Polish Russian name in a long long time!
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: DavidRoss on November 16, 2011, 07:13:51 AM
Most people aren't (though they think they are!), thus the title of the thread, NOT "Unpopular Reasons"
;D
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: chasmaniac on November 16, 2011, 07:27:07 AM
I am not the first to observe so, but another fine, upstanding, and mentally toothsome post, Alan.

(Pardon me a moment whilst I toggle . . . .)


I wonder if in music, we compound the usefulness of Wittgenstein’s distinction (what can be shown vs. what can be said) with something on the lines of how what I see relates to what is shown. I do not hereby mean to be obfuscatory, though I love the occasion to use the o. word. So – to the examples!

The cuckoo imitation in the Symphonie pastorale is perhaps typical of comparatively clear demonstration in music . . . we are probably not at any great risk of “seeing” something at wild variance from what Beethoven is “showing.”

Two counter-examples, at several angles:

The oboe in Peter and the Wolf serves very neatly as the character of the Duck; yet (I think) the music alone does not show that – we rely on the spoken narration in order to perceive the oboe as a quacker, and then the subsequent narrative parallels to the changes in musical mood of the oboe line (the ways in which they underpin the developing story, such as the Duck’s agitation at one point, &c.) become something clear to the listener.

Consider the opening of the Beethoven fifth (if you can manage it without a corkscrew . . . sorry!)  That famous opening gesture of the three short notes and the concluding sustained note: dramatic, yes – but, what does it mean?  Could mean any of quite a great number of things, I expect.  But then – where the rubber really meets the road – the answering gesture, a sequential repetition one step lower (and the sustained note a bit longer): what does that mean?  Here’s where the eye may belong to a beholder who writes a 200-page essay on what those four notes mean, and yet it is possible that all Beethoven was “showing” was . . . something intrinsically musical.  (I do not here absolutely claim that he was;  but there is certainly the musical possibility.)

(Last week I read essentially a pop music equivalent of this: rather freighted discussion spreading out to pages, and I’m thinking, “It could just have been a riff that the bass player came up with one day when they were jamming.”)


May I suggest that programmatic demonstration (sound-painting), whether direct or supported by context, is a pretty unproblematic analogue of linguistic reference? a kind of saying, in other words. I think the showing aspect of an artwork lies in its very objective existence, its thereness, as referent for itself. Looked at this way, a musical piece is, so to speak, a performative utterence, a something the meaning of which is exhausted by whatever it actually does. And I have found no better response to perplexity, confusion and grief than the contemplation and enjoyment of such "performances".

If this is obscure, I apologize. Don't know how else to put it!
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: kishnevi on November 16, 2011, 07:43:48 AM
I am not the first to observe so, but another fine, upstanding, and mentally toothsome post, Alan.

(Pardon me a moment whilst I toggle . . . .)


I wonder if in music, we compound the usefulness of Wittgenstein’s distinction (what can be shown vs. what can be said) with something on the lines of how what I see relates to what is shown. I do not hereby mean to be obfuscatory, though I love the occasion to use the o. word. So – to the examples!

The cuckoo imitation in the Symphonie pastorale is perhaps typical of comparatively clear demonstration in music . . . we are probably not at any great risk of “seeing” something at wild variance from what Beethoven is “showing.”

Two counter-examples, at several angles:

The oboe in Peter and the Wolf serves very neatly as the character of the Duck; yet (I think) the music alone does not show that – we rely on the spoken narration in order to perceive the oboe as a quacker, and then the subsequent narrative parallels to the changes in musical mood of the oboe line (the ways in which they underpin the developing story, such as the Duck’s agitation at one point, &c.) become something clear to the listener.

Consider the opening of the Beethoven fifth (if you can manage it without a corkscrew . . . sorry!)  That famous opening gesture of the three short notes and the concluding sustained note: dramatic, yes – but, what does it mean?  Could mean any of quite a great number of things, I expect.  But then – where the rubber really meets the road – the answering gesture, a sequential repetition one step lower (and the sustained note a bit longer): what does that mean?  Here’s where the eye may belong to a beholder who writes a 200-page essay on what those four notes mean, and yet it is possible that all Beethoven was “showing” was . . . something intrinsically musical.  (I do not here absolutely claim that he was;  but there is certainly the musical possibility.)

(Last week I read essentially a pop music equivalent of this: rather freighted discussion spreading out to pages, and I’m thinking, “It could just have been a riff that the bass player came up with one day when they were jamming.”)



In support of the Prokofiev example,  there's what Peter Schikele did with that piece, providing a completely different text using human characters from the American Old West, so there's nothing intrinscially "ducky" about that oboe.

Someone here on GMG has or had a pertinent sig line.  I don't remember who, so I can't be precise; I think it was a quote from Berlioz along the lines of, Music is meant to express what words can not.

But music is expressly and instrinsically extra-verbal.  Except for those works which include a sung text or an explicit program from the composer (and not all of those either),  whatever the composer wants to communicate is by its nature not reduceable to words.   There may be other levels at which the composer wants the piece to work, but at least at one level we're meant to experience that music as music, without further implications.  Beethoven may have meant to tell us something with that opening phrase of the Fifth Symphony, but he also wanted us to notice what he was doing with that phrase as a purely musical idea.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: DavidRoss on November 16, 2011, 08:25:19 AM
May I suggest that programmatic demonstration (sound-painting), whether direct or supported by context, is a pretty unproblematic analogue of linguistic reference? a kind of saying, in other words. I think the showing aspect of an artwork lies in its very objective existence, its thereness, as referent for itself. Looked at this way, a musical piece is, so to speak, a performative utterence, a something the meaning of which is exhausted by whatever it actually does. And I have found no better response to perplexity, confusion and grief than the contemplation and enjoyment of such "performances".

If this is obscure, I apologize. Don't know how else to put it!
And yet I see music as a closer analogue of painting than of text.  Both offer direct sensory experience, whereas text is entirely abstract.

As much as I love art (literature, music, painting, etc.), I find authentic contact with other human beings to be a better antidote for and response to "perplexity, confusion, and grief." Yes, the experience of art can lift me out of myself--but so can canyon-carving on a sport bike, hooking a wily trout on a perfectly drifted dry fly, or giggling with a two-year-old child.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Elgarian on November 16, 2011, 08:42:37 AM
Consider the opening of the Beethoven fifth (if you can manage it without a corkscrew . . . sorry!)  That famous opening gesture of the three short notes and the concluding sustained note: dramatic, yes – but, what does it mean?  Could mean any of quite a great number of things, I expect.  But then – where the rubber really meets the road – the answering gesture, a sequential repetition one step lower (and the sustained note a bit longer): what does that mean?  Here’s where the eye may belong to a beholder who writes a 200-page essay on what those four notes mean, and yet it is possible that all Beethoven was “showing” was . . . something intrinsically musical.  (I do not here absolutely claim that he was;  but there is certainly the musical possibility.)

(Last week I read essentially a pop music equivalent of this: rather freighted discussion spreading out to pages, and I’m thinking, “It could just have been a riff that the bass player came up with one day when they were jamming.”)


Like chasmaniac, I'm doubtful of getting involved with those mimetic musical effects you mentioned - I think they cloud the issue - even though we get the bonus of revelling in the multiple use of the o-word. So I'd like to comment just on this excellent closing paragraph of yours, Karl, where I think we get to the real meat of the matter. Because I say, yes: what Beethoven was 'showing' was something intrinsically musical. The perceived 'meaning' of the dah dah dah daah (and all that follows) can't be adequately expressed or explained within the 200 page essay because it isn't something that can be said - and to suppose that it's desirable or even possible to 'say' it is to make a category error. (To complain that the meaning of a work of art can't be explained is like complaining that one can't catch a rabbit with a voltmeter.)

I suppose there are those who will say of Wittgenstein's distinction that 'meaning' lies only within the things that can be said (just as the logical positivist would accept 'whereof one cannot speak thereof one must be silent' only with the proviso that there's nothing to be silent about). I think we have to leave them with their impoverished definition of 'meaning', to discuss among themselves the things that can be said, while we get on with the extended perception of meaning through showing. And when we're 'shown' Beethoven's four notes, you nod and think 'yes, I see that'; and so do I; and so does chasmaniac; and so do countless millions of others; and therein lies the meaning - because the thing that's communicated contains its own meaning. And we only get it by attending completely to the thing shown - not to the things we might try to say about it.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Elgarian on November 16, 2011, 08:45:16 AM
I think the showing aspect of an artwork lies in its very objective existence, its thereness, as referent for itself. Looked at this way, a musical piece is, so to speak, a performative utterence, a something the meaning of which is exhausted by whatever it actually does. And I have found no better response to perplexity, confusion and grief than the contemplation and enjoyment of such "performances".

That's close to perfect. You took a mere few lines to say (better) what I've been blathering on about for paragraphs.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on November 16, 2011, 08:49:51 AM
. . . And when we're 'shown' Beethoven's four notes, you nod and think 'yes, I see that'; and so do I; and so does chasmaniac; and so do countless millions of others; and therein lies the meaning - because the thing that's communicated contains its own meaning. And we only get it by attending completely to the thing shown - not to the things we might try to say about it.

(* nods *)
 
— (* not nods off, just . . . nods  *)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: chasmaniac on November 16, 2011, 08:59:18 AM
You took a mere few lines to say (better) what I've been blathering on about for paragraphs.

Thanks. But of course, people will understand you!  :)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: starrynight on November 16, 2011, 09:03:56 AM
Doesn't it depend on what you consider to be a philosophical problem though, Mike?

The overwhelmingly most important reason why I immerse myself in the arts again and again is because deep engagement with works of art resolves (at least temporarily) the anxiety of nagging existential questions of the kind: 'why am I here?' 'what's the meaning of life?' etc. (I don't say that only art can do this, please note, but merely that art has the potential to do it.)

If I'm looking attentively at a painting, or listening to a symphony, to the extent that my perceptions are fully occupied and extended by that activity, philosophical questions of meaning become insignificant. The present moment becomes so enriched by what I might crudely call 'directly experienced meaning' that philosophical analysis of the experience becomes redundant. Indeed, philosophical analysis would be counterproductive - if one were foolish enough to switch from one mode to another in midstream it would be seen as a mere distraction from the real business.

I suppose what's happening is that we're moving back and forth across that boundary formed by Wittgenstein's distinction between 'what can be shown', and 'what can be said'. We can argue endlessly about the merits of this symphony compared to that one, or this composer compared to another, dealing purely with aspects of 'what can be said'. But no symphony was written with the purpose of stimulating such a discussion. It was written to show us something. And only when we're engaged with it, when we're listening to it, when we're contemplating with full attention what's being shown, is the existential issue of 'meaning' finally and properly resolved. Any philosophical outlook that doesn't acknowledge this is unsatisfactory, in my view; so in that sense I think composers are indeed solving philosophical problems when they write symphonies.

It is an engagement.  Maybe initially people can see it as an engagement with another individual (the composer) but ultimately I think it is more than that.  It's partly an interaction with the art of music itself but also with the expression contained within it.  It takes us out of ourselves but at the same time further within ourselves.  As said earlier it is a kind of sustenance, but not like food which is purely a physical need in most cases and means no more than that.  We could still live without music (unlike food) but it has arisen naturally as a means to express what we find hard to express otherwise.  In that sense it is probably no different to other arts, but its more abstract nature makes it more universal.  The act of expression and identifying with that expression can potentially give a kind of fulfillment which we may find hard to achieve just on our own.  And maybe underlying all this can be the feeling that we aren't alone, something else expresses what we feel.  And for the composer, apart from the wish to just express themselves, perhaps there is a desire to enter the same exploration as other composers and to find an audience who feel an affinity with the same type of music.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Elgarian on November 16, 2011, 09:05:52 AM
As much as I love art (literature, music, painting, etc.), I find authentic contact with other human beings to be a better antidote for and response to "perplexity, confusion, and grief." Yes, the experience of art can lift me out of myself--but so can canyon-carving on a sport bike, hooking a wily trout on a perfectly drifted dry fly, or giggling with a two-year-old child.

I don't think any of us would want to claim some sort of exclusivity for art for 'lifting us out of ourselves' though, Dave. I'm a little worried that we might drift over into the territory of 'art as therapy' which is another matter. I'm not really concerned here with art as something that makes us feel better (though it's nice when it does), but as something that extends our perceptions in ways that are self-evidently meaningful, by contemplation of the art-object itself.

It's true that treacle pudding can only be tasted and not said; and when I put it into myself it takes me out of myself (in a distracting way). But it doesn't do what art does.*


* Or does it? Suddenly, contemplating memories of Great Treacle Puddings I Have Known, I have doubts!
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on November 16, 2011, 09:18:31 AM
Great Treacle Puddings Alan Has Known!
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Elgarian on November 16, 2011, 09:32:02 AM
Great Treacle Puddings Alan Has Known!

I know now what I have to do. I must construct the Greatest Treacle Pudding there has ever been. A Treacle Pudding so Great that just one taste of it will solve the profoundest questions about Custard, the Syrupverse, and Everything.

I am going now, but I shall return in a million years time with The Great Pudding and a large number of Spoons.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on November 16, 2011, 09:42:30 AM
Ever so many spoons!
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: The Six on November 16, 2011, 02:23:05 PM
The best music of the past 20 years was written for video games.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: knight66 on November 16, 2011, 02:37:05 PM
Doesn't it depend on what you consider to be a philosophical problem though, Mike?

The overwhelmingly most important reason why I immerse myself in the arts again and again is because deep engagement with works of art resolves (at least temporarily) the anxiety of nagging existential questions of the kind: 'why am I here?' 'what's the meaning of life?' etc. (I don't say that only art can do this, please note, but merely that art has the potential to do it.)

If I'm looking attentively at a painting, or listening to a symphony, to the extent that my perceptions are fully occupied and extended by that activity, philosophical questions of meaning become insignificant. The present moment becomes so enriched by what I might crudely call 'directly experienced meaning' that philosophical analysis of the experience becomes redundant. Indeed, philosophical analysis would be counterproductive - if one were foolish enough to switch from one mode to another in midstream it would be seen as a mere distraction from the real business.

I suppose what's happening is that we're moving back and forth across that boundary formed by Wittgenstein's distinction between 'what can be shown', and 'what can be said'. We can argue endlessly about the merits of this symphony compared to that one, or this composer compared to another, dealing purely with aspects of 'what can be said'. But no symphony was written with the purpose of stimulating such a discussion. It was written to show us something. And only when we're engaged with it, when we're listening to it, when we're contemplating with full attention what's being shown, is the existential issue of 'meaning' finally and properly resolved. Any philosophical outlook that doesn't acknowledge this is unsatisfactory, in my view; so in that sense I think composers are indeed solving philosophical problems when they write symphonies.

As always Alan, an original and an elegant take on a subject. I was, as you propably knew really, making reference to the formal argument that classical philosophy requires. I like your points and of course, a solution for one is an irrelevance to another in the context of what music can cut through and provide enlightenment or balm.

Mike
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: madaboutmahler on November 16, 2011, 02:45:49 PM
The best music of the past 20 years was written for video games.

What?!!!!!  :o You seem to be dismissing some very great music....

Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: The Six on November 16, 2011, 02:50:35 PM
What?!!!!!  :o You seem to be dismissing some very great music....

That statement is not about the inferiority of other music, it's about the relatively unknown greatness of that composed for games.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Elgarian on November 16, 2011, 02:53:59 PM
I was, as you propably knew really, making reference to the formal argument that classical philosophy requires.

Exactly so, Mike. And as you'll have realised by now (for my subterfuge was thinly disguised), I was really only  using your post as a springboard to launch my new philosophy based upon the Great Treacle Pudding Construction Project.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: madaboutmahler on November 16, 2011, 02:56:16 PM
That statement is not about the inferiority of other music, it's about the relatively unknown greatness of that composed for games.

I see....
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on November 16, 2011, 02:57:40 PM
Great Treacle Pudding Video Games!
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: starrynight on November 16, 2011, 03:56:35 PM
That statement is not about the inferiority of other music, it's about the relatively unknown greatness of that composed for games.

It may be underrated, but that's still a completely different statement to the first one you made.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: DavidRoss on November 16, 2011, 03:59:16 PM
Great Treacle Pudding Video Games!
Great Treacle Pudding vs. the Flying Spaghetti Monster!
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Superhorn on November 16, 2011, 04:41:51 PM
  Listening to the cloyingly sentimental and monotonously languorous music of Delius is like being forced to consume a giant bowl of treacle !
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Elgarian on November 17, 2011, 01:21:14 AM
Great Treacle Pudding vs. the Flying Spaghetti Monster!

A nail-biter. Too close to call, one might think. But remember that revenge, like treacle, is sweet.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Luke on November 17, 2011, 12:34:23 PM
A nail-biter. Too close to call, one might think. But remember that revenge, like treacle, is sweet.

But is treacle, like revenge, best served cold? A conundrum for the ages...
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on November 17, 2011, 12:39:49 PM
My opnion that treacle should be served cold might just prove unpopular.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Elgarian on November 17, 2011, 12:44:20 PM
My opnion that treacle should be served cold might just prove unpopular.

How neatly the thread is brought back on target. Nicely done Karl and Luke. (Karl kicked the ball through the net, but Luke set it up.)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on November 17, 2011, 12:59:10 PM
Couldn't have done it without Luke's assist.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Elgarian on November 17, 2011, 01:00:36 PM
Guys, we did good today.
Come. Let us all share in the Smugness.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: chasmaniac on November 17, 2011, 01:06:21 PM
Guys, we did good today.
Come. Let us all share in the Smugness.

I'm getting a tan from its reflection!  ;D
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on November 17, 2011, 01:08:58 PM
Lead us to The Shed!
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: DavidRoss on November 17, 2011, 07:00:03 PM
While basking in the warm glow of well-deserved smugness, our merry band of GMGers suddenly found their opinions inexplicably popular!

(http://www.burnbright.com.au/wp-content/uploads/soup-nazi_320-250x187.jpg)
"No treacle pudding for you!"
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: The Six on November 17, 2011, 07:03:16 PM
Quote
It may be underrated, but that's still a completely different statement to the first one you made.

Well I made two statements, then.

It's a good idea to break up movements in concerts. Mix and match them, and the performers and audience will get a chance to hear them differently. Of course it wouldn't work for everything, but why not make a "found" symphony made up of movements from multiple ones?
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: The Six on November 17, 2011, 07:56:54 PM
If this is not an unpopular opinion then it certainly ought to be.
"why not make..."?  Because good conductors remain true to a composer's intention, as expressed by means of notes.
The differing ways each conductors understand these intentions is all the chance we require and need,

We don't even require or need that. None of this is a necessity. It's just a different way of looking at music. I would not agree that remaining true to the composer's intentional, whatever that is, is a requirement for a conductor to be good. Once the music's written, it belongs to no one and everyone (copyright notwithstanding).
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: The Six on November 17, 2011, 09:06:21 PM
Thanks!
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: chasmaniac on November 18, 2011, 04:03:30 AM
It's a good idea to break up movements in concerts. Mix and match them, and the performers and audience will get a chance to hear them differently. Of course it wouldn't work for everything, but why not make a "found" symphony made up of movements from multiple ones?

Van Nevel worked 5 of Agricola's mass movements into the Missa Guazzabuglio here:



Don't know how a paying audience would take it, but folks have been mixing and matching for their own purposes for as long as there has been a home recording medium in which to do it.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: starrynight on November 18, 2011, 08:14:47 AM
Once the music's written, it belongs to no one and everyone

Music can be reworked though it should not then be solely credited to the original composer as it would not reflect exactly what they intended.  It would be more like a new composition.  And reworking of any type of music if done successfully is done in a creative way and not just randomly.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: DavidRoss on November 18, 2011, 08:22:54 PM
Led Zeppelin peaked with their second album.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on November 19, 2011, 04:19:41 AM
: )
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Sergeant Rock on November 19, 2011, 04:21:39 AM
Led Zeppelin peaked with their second album.

That's always been my position  8)


Sarge
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: jowcol on November 19, 2011, 07:32:19 AM
Led Zeppelin peaked with their second album.

I would say they peaked with their first-- but I'm not a big Zep-head.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on November 19, 2011, 09:25:47 AM
I guess not everyone thinks highly of "Kashmir," but that's a track grabbed me tight at the collar when first I heard it.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: jowcol on November 19, 2011, 09:57:19 AM
I guess not everyone thinks highly of "Kashmir," but that's a track grabbed me tight at the collar when first I heard it.

Kashmir is a GREAT tune-- one of their very best.  I've probably got less than 10 Zep songs on my MP3 Player, but that is DEFINITELY on it.


  But the album as a whole didn't have much an affect on me, and I must admit that the epic length "in My Time of Dying" did nothing for me-- I'm a huge blues fan, but other then some decent (but not overwhelming ) slide licks, there wasnt much.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: The Six on December 02, 2011, 09:46:08 AM
As much as I like him for other things, I feel that Bartok can never be forgiven for his mocking of Shostakovich in his Concerto for Orchestra. Criticize the piece is one thing, but I don't understand the mentality where one feels the need to shoehorn a bad parody into an otherwise serious piece.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on December 02, 2011, 10:31:45 AM
I can see tut-tutting, but to consider it unforgivable . . . I dunno.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Opus106 on December 02, 2011, 10:33:49 AM
As much as I like him for other things, I feel that Bartok can never be forgiven for his mocking of Shostakovich in his Concerto for Orchestra. Criticize the piece is one thing, but I don't understand the mentality where one feels the need to shoehorn a bad parody into an otherwise serious piece.

Could you please point out when in the piece this happens? I hadn't heard of this before.

I can see tut-tutting, but to consider it unforgivable . . . I dunno.

Psst... it's unpopular.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on December 02, 2011, 10:37:56 AM
Oy, Nav: you're on it!
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on December 02, 2011, 10:38:55 AM
Could you please point out when in the piece this happens? I hadn't heard of this before.

Psst... in the Intermezzo interrotto. : )
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Opus106 on December 02, 2011, 10:45:56 AM
Psst... in the Intermezzo interrotto. : )

[whisper]Thanks muchly![/whisper] I haven't heard Shostakovich's 7th yet, at least not completely... I found the march too boring when I came across the work a long time ago. Will give those to a 'comparative' listening soon.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: The Six on December 02, 2011, 02:02:08 PM
UNFORGIVABLE!
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Mirror Image on December 02, 2011, 08:25:08 PM
Here's some more unpopular opinions: Rossini was a hack, Messiaen was on crack, Brahms and Clara Schumann spent some time in the sack...
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Rinaldo on December 04, 2011, 06:18:18 AM
Fresh one after yesterday's Met broadcast of Rodelinda: Renée Fleming is a queen of the obnoxious.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Geo Dude on December 04, 2011, 06:48:39 AM
Fresh one after yesterday's Met broadcast of Rodelinda: Renée Fleming is a queen of the obnoxious.

I don't find her obnoxious myself, but I do find her voice a bit plain, for lack of a better term.  She doesn't hold my interest.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Florestan on December 05, 2011, 07:19:42 AM
Nice thread, folks. :)

Here's mine: if you want to ruin a teenager prospective to become a Classical music lover, give him Mahler. Chances are very high that he'll become a Late Romanticism nut and forever scorn any music scored for less than 200 instruments; thus he'll narrowly limit himself to only 40-50 (and certainly not the best) years of the whole history of music making .  ;D





Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on December 05, 2011, 07:29:11 AM
Nice thread, folks. :)

Here's mine: if you want to ruin a teenager prospective to become a Classical music lover, give him Mahler. Chances are very high that he'll become a Late Romanticism nut and forever scorn any music scored for less than 200 instruments; thus he'll narrowly limit himself to only 40-50 (and certainly not the best) years of the whole history of music making .  ;D

Dude, I just don't do piano solo music, anything important that a composer has to say, he's probably said in his works for orchestra ; )
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Lethevich on December 05, 2011, 07:34:55 AM
Dvorak's 9th is a step-down
The Missa Solemnis could do with some cuts
Sibelius is nearly as overrated as Mahler
Schumann's PC isn't all that interesting
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Florestan on December 05, 2011, 07:40:03 AM
Dude, I just don't do piano solo music, anything important that a composer has to say, he's probably said in his works for orchestra ; )

Take for instance JS Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, Chopin, Brahms: their chamber output is just as good (I'd say even better in some cases) than their orchestral one. Not to mention that orchestra is a very relative term: what for Haydn was a grand one, for Mahler would have been the equivalent of a piano reduction.  ;D
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Florestan on December 05, 2011, 07:45:42 AM
Dvorak's 9th is a step-down

Kind of John Philip Souza with an Austro-Hungarian flavor...  ;D

Quote
The Missa Solemnis could do with some cuts

Must give it a long due new listen.

Quote
Sibelius is nearly as overrated as Mahler

I can stomach Mahler much better than Bruckner; however Sibelius is far superior to both in being much more concise.  ;D

Quote
Schumann's PC isn't all that interesting

I just love it, unabashedly (non-Late) Romantic as I am - but it overshadows his equally splendid Violin and Cello Concertos.  :)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on December 05, 2011, 07:46:18 AM

Here's mine: if you want to ruin a teenager prospective to become a Classical music lover, give him Mahler. Chances are very high that he'll become a Late Romanticism nut and forever scorn any music scored for less than 200 instruments; thus he'll narrowly limit himself to only 40-50 (and certainly not the best) years of the whole history of music making .  ;D

That was me, when I first started listening. Somehow I managed to move on from there. So at least in my case, you're wrong!  :P
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Florestan on December 05, 2011, 07:48:30 AM
That was me, when I first started listening. Somehow I managed to move on from there. So at least in my case, you're wrong!  :P

I should have written "contemporary teenager" and I would not have been wrong anymore. What say you?:)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on December 05, 2011, 07:49:14 AM
Dvorak's 9th is a step-down
The Missa Solemnis could do with some cuts
Sibelius is nearly as overrated as Mahler
Schumann's PC isn't all that interesting

I agree with all of these except observation #3. Sibelius and Mahler remain among my favorite orchestral composers.

My turn:

Beethoven's best quartets are the Razumovskys (Op. 59).
Beethoven's best late quartet is Op. 135.
Masses would be a lot easier to listen to if they removed the long, doctrinally specific Credo movement.
Prokofiev is just not all that good as a symphonist.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Opus106 on December 05, 2011, 07:51:14 AM
Prokofiev is just not all that good as a symphonist.

What's with the redundancy at the end?


 ;D
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on December 05, 2011, 07:52:30 AM
But this is an entertaining thread! : )
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Florestan on December 05, 2011, 07:53:08 AM
Masses would be a lot easier to listen to if they removed the long, doctrinally specific Credo movement.

In which case they wouldn't be Masses anymore. :D

Quote
Prokofiev is just not all that good as a symphonist.

Except when he tries to be the Haydn of the 20th century.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on December 05, 2011, 07:53:41 AM
I should have written "contemporary teenager" and I would not have been wrong anymore. What say you?:)

Maybe. But I was a "contemporary teenager" in the 1980s, and if I grew out of it, anyone can  :)

One more observation:

Schubert's symphonies are mostly forgettable.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on December 05, 2011, 07:54:11 AM
Except when he tries to be the Haydn of the 20th century.

Too bad he only did that once.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: TheGSMoeller on December 05, 2011, 07:54:41 AM
Nice thread, folks. :)

Here's mine: if you want to ruin a teenager prospective to become a Classical music lover, give him Mahler. Chances are very high that he'll become a Late Romanticism nut and forever scorn any music scored for less than 200 instruments; thus he'll narrowly limit himself to only 40-50 (and certainly not the best) years of the whole history of music making .  ;D


My experience with this statement is that when I was in high school I played the French horn and my brother played trombone, and we were very attached to pieces that were brass heavy, and Mahler was one of my first introductions to this. But as the years passed I began to appreciate Mahler's music less, I found myself waiting for certain moments in his pieces rather than enjoying them in their entirety. I wouldn't say that Mahler is overrated, but I would much rather listen to any Haydn symphony over a Mahler symphony nowadays.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: TheGSMoeller on December 05, 2011, 07:56:00 AM

Prokofiev is just not all that good as a symphonist.


 ;D
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Florestan on December 05, 2011, 07:56:59 AM
Maybe. But I was a "contemporary teenager" in the 1980s, and if I grew out of it, anyone can  :)

Absolutely. After all, if truth is generally unpopular, it doesn't follow that every unpopular opinion is true. :)

Quote
Schubert's symphonies are mostly forgettable.

Yes, but the unforgettable ones (2,5,6,8,9) make for all the rest.  :D
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Florestan on December 05, 2011, 07:57:47 AM
Too bad he only did that once.

Or too bad he didn't stop at that one.  ;D
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Lethevich on December 05, 2011, 07:58:56 AM
Schubert's symphonies are mostly forgettable.

I tried very hard to have an opinion on this, but it came out even :(
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Florestan on December 05, 2011, 07:59:44 AM
I wouldn't say that Mahler is overrated, but I would much rather listen to any Haydn symphony over a Mahler symphony nowadays.

That's perhaps because there are French horns in Haydn. How about your trombone brother?  :D
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: TheGSMoeller on December 05, 2011, 08:01:33 AM
That's perhaps because there are French horns in Haydn. How about your trombone brother?  :D


He still loves Mahler, but his taste in who performs it how it's performed has changed.

Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on December 05, 2011, 08:03:25 AM
Or too bad he didn't stop at that one.  ;D

Eeek!
 
Thread Duty: The Second is the best of the Prokofev symphonies
 
There's not a single note too many in Shostakovich's Leningrad Symphony
 
Mozart's clarinet concerto is better as arranged for the regular A clarinet.
 
Apart from the Violin Concerto, I cannot bear a note of Glazunov.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on December 05, 2011, 08:04:27 AM
And: practically throughout his compositional output, Berlioz is a genius.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: TheGSMoeller on December 05, 2011, 08:09:32 AM
And: practically throughout his compositional output, Berlioz is a genius.


This is very true.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Lethevich on December 05, 2011, 08:10:23 AM
I find more musical riches in Liszt's output than Wagner and Bruckner combined.
.
..

Haters gon' hate.

Apart from the Violin Concerto, I cannot bear a note of Glazunov.

Unpopular indeed - most people totally ignore the VC too ;D
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: PaulR on December 05, 2011, 08:11:02 AM
Although this might be a biased opinion, Schubert's Arpeggione Sonata sounds better on the bass than it does on the cello.  (an unusual thing to say :D :P )

I think the 4th movement of Mahler 4 is the weakest part of the symphony, even if the rest of the symphony was derived from that movement.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Florestan on December 05, 2011, 08:14:43 AM
I find more musical riches in Liszt's output than Wagner and Bruckner combined.

Fleurs melodiques des Alpes immediately comes to mind.  ;D

Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Florestan on December 05, 2011, 08:18:49 AM
There's not a single note too many in Shostakovich's Leningrad Symphony

Whoever said it is?
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Lethevich on December 05, 2011, 08:23:41 AM
Whoever said it is?

I think GMGer Nav has never actually reached the end of the piece yet ;D I am sympathetic to the view.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Florestan on December 05, 2011, 08:23:54 AM
If I got started...

Having heard last Friday live Brahms' First Symphony I was only confirmed in my long held opinion: apart from the Scherzo (only, without the Trio) and that melody in the finale, it is a formless and completely forgettable aborted foetus.  ;D
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Florestan on December 05, 2011, 08:28:00 AM
I think GMGer Nav has never actually reached the end of the piece yet ;D I am sympathetic to the view.

Well, you two are of the same lot: he is a Bach guy and you're a Bax girl. :)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Lethevich on December 05, 2011, 08:31:05 AM
Well, you two are of the same lot: he is a Bach guy and you're a Bax girl. :)

And beyond all reasonable coincidence, Bach in Russian is Бах ;D
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Florestan on December 05, 2011, 08:33:09 AM
And beyond all reasonable coincidence, Bach in Russian is Бах ;D

Kонечно.  :D
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Sergeant Rock on December 05, 2011, 08:39:50 AM
Maybe. But I was a "contemporary teenager" in the 1980s, and if I grew out of it, anyone can  :)

Thank god I've never grown up  8)  Mahler is even more important to me today than he was when I first heard him at age 17.

Sarge
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Florestan on December 05, 2011, 08:41:55 AM
Thank god I've never grown up  8)  Mahler is even more important to me today than he was when I first heard him at age 17.

Sarge

Q. E. D.   :D ;D :D
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Mirror Image on December 05, 2011, 08:43:29 AM
I'm starting to become incredibly disenchanted with living composers, although there are a few whose music I enjoy. I think Baroque music, in general, is better for dinner parties or restaurants than for serious listening. I think the Classical Era produced some of the most downright garbage of any period with Mozart leading the pack.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Sergeant Rock on December 05, 2011, 08:44:41 AM
Whoever said it is?

Me! Start with the first note, add the last...and include everything in between. Throw them all out. Now there you have a great symphony! Shostakovich's own 4'33....only much longer  ;D

Sarge
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Florestan on December 05, 2011, 08:46:47 AM
I think Baroque music, in general, is better for dinner parties or restaurants than for serious listening. I think the Classical Era produced some of the most downright garbage of any period with Mozart leading the pack.

Easily the best post in the spirit of this thread...
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Florestan on December 05, 2011, 08:50:37 AM
Me! Start with the first note, add the last...and include everything in between. Throw them all out. Now there you have a great symphony! Shostakovich's own 4'33....only much longer  ;D

I like Shostakovich but, after all, I could live perfectly happy without ever hearing a single note of his anymore. OTOH, how about your life without Mahler?  ;D
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Sergeant Rock on December 05, 2011, 08:53:23 AM
I like Shostakovich but, after all, I could live perfectly happy without ever hearing a single note of his anymore. OTOH, how about your life without Mahler?  ;D

Life is unthinkable without Mahler. There. I'm finally on topic  :D

Sarge
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Opus106 on December 05, 2011, 08:53:40 AM
I think Baroque music, in general, is better for dinner parties or restaurants than for serious listening. I think the Classical Era produced some of the most downright garbage of any period with Mozart leading the pack.

This is not the misguided ramblings thread, MI. :P

Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Florestan on December 05, 2011, 08:55:14 AM
Life is unthinkable without Mahler. There. I'm finally on topic  :D

 :D :D :D

Excellent, Sarge! You rock as usual, my hat off to you!

Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Mirror Image on December 05, 2011, 08:57:37 AM
This is not the misguided ramblings thread, MI. :P

 :P

Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Mirror Image on December 05, 2011, 08:59:27 AM
Q: What's the difference between Mahler and Janet Reno?

A: Nothing, they're both psychotic, delusional windbags.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: TheGSMoeller on December 05, 2011, 09:14:37 AM
I think Baroque music, in general, is better for dinner parties or restaurants than for serious listening.


I would frequent that restaurant, "Table for One, Please!"  :P  ;D
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: madaboutmahler on December 05, 2011, 09:19:12 AM
Thank god I've never grown up  8)  Mahler is even more important to me today than he was when I first heard him at age 17.

Sarge

I wonder what I will be like then....

Life is unthinkable without Mahler. There. I'm finally on topic  :D

Sarge

Completely true! Couldn't agree more!

Q: What's the difference between Mahler and Janet Reno?

A: Nothing, they're both psychotic, delusional windbags.

I'm going to go and find a picture of you now to attach to my Mahler hammer when I play it tonight.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Sergeant Rock on December 05, 2011, 09:22:14 AM
I wonder what I will be like then....

Do you mean 17...or 62?  :)

Sarge
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: madaboutmahler on December 05, 2011, 09:23:46 AM
Apart from the Violin Concerto, I cannot bear a note of Glazunov.

How?! Do you not know the 4th symphony?!

Sibelius is nearly as overrated as Mahler

 :o
Mahler could NEVER be overrated.  >:(

Do you mean 17...or 62?  :)

Sarge

62 ;) I will have probably formed my own international Mahler society! :D
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Lisztianwagner on December 05, 2011, 09:32:28 AM
Life is unthinkable without Mahler.

I totally agree :)

But I think a lifetime without Wagner would be worse for me........
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on December 05, 2011, 09:35:29 AM
Easily the best post in the spirit of this thread...

(* chortlissimo *)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on December 05, 2011, 09:39:16 AM

Life is unthinkable without Mahler. There. I'm finally on topic  :D

Sarge

 :D :D :D

Excellent, Sarge! You rock as usual, my hat off to you!

You gents are entirely apt to make me smile!
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on December 05, 2011, 09:40:51 AM
Having heard last Friday live Brahms' First Symphony I was only confirmed in my long held opinion: apart from the Scherzo (only, without the Trio) and that melody in the finale, it is a formless and completely forgettable aborted foetus.  ;D

While I don't agree with this assessment, I do think that the 1st Sym. is not as great as the 3 others. There is a sense of strain, of deliberate grandeur and monumentality, that drags it down a little. Thankfully Brahms got over his Beethoven complex after this one.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: jowcol on December 05, 2011, 10:00:46 AM

Thread Duty: The Second is the best of the Prokofev symphonies
 

That's not an unpopular opinion with me-- I'm torn between the second and the third. 
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Christo on December 05, 2011, 11:23:46 AM
a formless and completely forgettable aborted foetus.  ;D

(I would take that as a reasonable assessment of the said composer as well.  8) )
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Geo Dude on December 05, 2011, 11:39:31 AM
(I would take that as a reasonable assessment of the said composer as well.  8) )

 :o


Well, this is certainly the sort of thing this thread is for, I'll give you that!
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Florestan on December 05, 2011, 11:45:55 AM
Well, this is certainly the sort of thing this thread is for, I'll give you that!

I wouldn't have thought it possible, but Christo beats Mirror Image by a wide margin.  :D
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on December 05, 2011, 11:49:43 AM
But this is the very merriest of Mondays!

(* chortle yet again *)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: mszczuj on December 07, 2011, 11:16:44 AM
The Second is the best of the Prokofev symphonies

This is not very strange as it is the best symphony written after Beethoven. What a pity it was the last good symphony of Prokofiev.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: madaboutmahler on December 07, 2011, 11:32:42 AM
This is not very strange as it is the best symphony written after Beethoven. What a pity it was the last good symphony of Prokofiev.

You seem to be forgetting Mahler.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on December 07, 2011, 11:38:44 AM
No.

: )
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: madaboutmahler on December 07, 2011, 11:45:54 AM
What a piece of nonsense that statement was....  >:(
How you could easily dismiss all the symphonic masterpieces between Beethoven and Prokofiev? Ridiculous.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Lethevich on December 07, 2011, 11:58:13 AM
Dvorak's 2nd symphony is better than Prokofiev's.

*hides*
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on December 07, 2011, 11:59:29 AM
What a piece of nonsense that statement was....  >:(
How you could easily dismiss all the symphonic masterpieces between Beethoven and Prokofiev? Ridiculous.

There, you see: It's a question of perspective.  For mszczuj, this is a matter of recognizing the greatness of the Prokofiev Second.  Let me guess: You do not even know the piece, yet you wish us to take seriously your opinion that it is ridiculous to consider the Prokofiev Second the "greatest symphony after Beethoven," ahead of Mahler's nine.

In any event, dude: get the thread title.  It's an opinion, and it may not be a popular opinion.  Got it?
: )
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on December 07, 2011, 11:59:45 AM
Dvorak's 2nd symphony is better than Prokofiev's.

*hides*

Tee-hee!
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: madaboutmahler on December 07, 2011, 12:51:16 PM
There, you see: It's a question of perspective.  For mszczuj, this is a matter of recognizing the greatness of the Prokofiev Second.  Let me guess: You do not even know the piece, yet you wish us to take seriously your opinion that it is ridiculous to consider the Prokofiev Second the "greatest symphony after Beethoven," ahead of Mahler's nine.

In any event, dude: get the thread title.  It's an opinion, and it may not be a popular opinion.  Got it?
: )

Yes, I understand fully, Karl. And yes, I do know the 2nd symphony of Prokofiev, and I find it a great piece. Just cannot believe that mszczuj would dismiss everything between Beethoven and Prokofiev 2. Surely Brahms, Bruckner, Mahler (etc) should be mentioned. But fine - that's just my opinion that obviously not everyone shares.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Bulldog on December 07, 2011, 01:10:21 PM
Yes, I understand fully, Karl. And yes, I do know the 2nd symphony of Prokofiev, and I find it a great piece. Just cannot believe that mszczuj would dismiss everything between Beethoven and Prokofiev 2.

With your particular set of biases, you seem to have misunderstood the words of mszczuj.  All he said was that the Prokofiev 2nd was the best symphony after Beethoven; that was no dismissal of any other symphonies.  It's about time you hit yourself on the head with hammer. 8) 
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: madaboutmahler on December 07, 2011, 01:17:24 PM
With your particular set of biases, you seem to have misunderstood the words of mszczuj.  All he said was that the Prokofiev 2nd was the best symphony after Beethoven; that was no dismissal of any other symphonies.  It's about time you hit yourself on the head with hammer. 8)

Perhaps. Well, it still certainly is what can be classed as an 'unpopular opinion' of the highest order!
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: TheGSMoeller on December 07, 2011, 08:35:27 PM
Brahms 4th would be the greatest symphony from the Romantic era if it didn't contain the all too sunny third movement.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Opus106 on December 07, 2011, 10:58:23 PM
Brahms 4th would be the greatest symphony from the Romantic era if it didn't contain the all too sunny third movement.

Hmm... I actually think it needs more triangles.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Mirror Image on December 07, 2011, 11:03:13 PM
Hmm... I actually think it needs more triangles.

...or cowbell. :)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Opus106 on December 07, 2011, 11:06:09 PM
...or cowbell. :)

That's the hammerhead's fetish.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Superhorn on December 08, 2011, 08:48:13 AM
   Conductors such as Gardiner,Norrington, Howgwood,  Bruggen,Herreweghe, et al  may be fine and erudite musicians, but  as
people, they are the most insufferably arrogant, snooty,  condescending,patronizing ,  smug,self-satisfied ,  pedantic, dogmatic
pompous asses  imaginable .   
   Ditto other HIP musicians such as Bylsma and his ilk .
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: TheGSMoeller on December 08, 2011, 08:59:52 AM
   Conductors such as Gardiner,Norrington, Howgwood,  Bruggen,Herreweghe, et al  may be fine and erudite musicians, but  as
people, they are the most insufferably arrogant, snooty,  condescending,patronizing ,  smug,self-satisfied ,  pedantic, dogmatic
pompous asses  imaginable .   
   Ditto other HIP musicians such as Bylsma and his ilk .

Have you worked with any of them?
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on December 08, 2011, 09:06:40 AM
Funny how it's all the HIP musicians who have such grievous character failiings.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on December 08, 2011, 09:11:00 AM
Almost as if we're transferring our personal distaste for a style, to alleged personal failings of those who work in the style.

But it's purely an artistic opinion, of course; no mere empty ad hominem here.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Opus106 on December 08, 2011, 09:16:25 AM
   Conductors such as Gardiner,Norrington, Howgwood,  Bruggen,Herreweghe, et al  may be fine and erudite musicians, but  as
people, they are the most insufferably arrogant, snooty,  condescending,patronizing ,  smug,self-satisfied ,  pedantic, dogmatic
pompous asses  imaginable .   
   Ditto other HIP musicians such as Bylsma and his ilk .

Beethoven, Wagner, Mozart... the list goes on. I suppose you don't listen to their music as well.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Geo Dude on December 08, 2011, 09:31:54 AM
Have you worked with any of them?

A good question.  I'll add a second one in the same vein for Superhorn.  Have you read or watched any interviews with these musicians?
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: springrite on December 08, 2011, 09:39:07 AM
Beethoven, Wagner, Mozart... the list goes on. I suppose you don't listen to their music as well.

I remember saying this to a friend during a discussion about Bill Clinton:" You realize you are voting to election a CEO to USA Incorporated, NOT electing a POPE."

While people like Feldman, Cage, Carter, Giulini, Levine are people I would love to know as friends, most of the musicians and composers I love and enjoy are people whom I wouldn't be able to stand (for longer than a cup of tea) as people in real life, which is just fine.

BTW, I like you in both cases, Dr. Karl Henning!
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: madaboutmahler on December 08, 2011, 09:40:50 AM
Hmm... I actually think it needs more triangles.
...or cowbell. :)
That's the hammerhead's fetish.

 ;D
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: madaboutmahler on December 08, 2011, 09:42:45 AM
Brahms 4th would be the greatest symphony from the Romantic era if it didn't contain the all too sunny third movement.

I love that third movement, a nice dose of joy between the outer movements!
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Bulldog on December 08, 2011, 09:43:22 AM
   Conductors such as Gardiner,Norrington, Howgwood,  Bruggen,Herreweghe, et al  may be fine and erudite musicians, but  as
people, they are the most insufferably arrogant, snooty,  condescending,patronizing ,  smug,self-satisfied ,  pedantic, dogmatic
pompous asses  imaginable .   
   Ditto other HIP musicians such as Bylsma and his ilk .

I'm surprised you haven't accused them of child abuse.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Lethevich on December 08, 2011, 10:02:52 AM
I'm surprised you haven't accused them of child abuse.

Not to mention Gardiner's family history - combine all these and we'll really have an unpopular opinion :)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Opus106 on December 08, 2011, 10:06:51 AM
Not to mention Gardiner's family history

What about it?
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Lethevich on December 08, 2011, 10:07:38 AM
What about it?

Like Max Mosley, a Nazi in the closet.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on December 08, 2011, 10:38:39 AM
I remember saying this to a friend during a discussion about Bill Clinton:" You realize you are voting to election a CEO to USA Incorporated, NOT electing a POPE."

While people like Feldman, Cage, Carter, Giulini, Levine are people I would love to know as friends, most of the musicians and composers I love and enjoy are people whom I wouldn't be able to stand (for longer than a cup of tea) as people in real life, which is just fine.

BTW, I like you in both cases, Dr. Karl Henning!

(* blush *)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Opus106 on December 08, 2011, 10:42:35 AM
Like Max Mosley, a Nazi in the closet.

Oh.

And there was that other HIPster who was quite open about it: Herbert von Karajan.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Florestan on December 08, 2011, 11:21:47 AM
A good question.  I'll add a second one in the same vein for Superhorn.  Have you read or watched any interviews with these musicians?

Yes, that's a very good question too. I've read interviews with basically all those mentioned in the (very sadly) now defunct Goldberg Magazine website and I don't remember them displaying any of the "qualities" Superhorn attributes them.

Karl's comment about projecting the hate of HIP on HIPsters seems to me very apt.



Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Superhorn on December 09, 2011, 01:37:42 PM
    I'm not attacking their  performances , but their attitudes .  I've read many  interviews they've given,  plus  the liner notes to CDs some of them have written , and heard them on the radio etc. 
    I have some of their recordings , and like some of  the countless ones by them I've heard very much, though by no means all of them .
  It's the sheer arrogance  and smugness of many of their pronunciations that irritate me so much .  They're so cock sure of how "authentic they are and  sneer so superciliously at other musicians , past and present who  aren't HIP. 
   I'm currently involved in a controversy at musoc.org , a website  which  is devoted to  trying to promote classical music and to
defend it from  philistinism, even though its  frankly  elitist viewpoint  is very counterproductive .
It stands for "music and society".  The website has its  "Hall of Shame " awards for musicians  it  condemns for what it considers crassness or stupidity of behavior .  A while ago, I sent them an e mail  recommending the English  orchestra administrator and former record producer John Boyden  ,now artistic director of the New Queen's Hall orchestra of London, the only period instrument  orchestra devoted to  the music of  Elgar, Vaughan Williams, Wagner, Brahms,  Mahler, Bruckner,Holst and other late 19th and early 20th century composers . 
   It's recorded the first HIP version of Holst's The Planets .  Boyden  ,on the orchestra's website makes all kinds of stupefyingly arrogant  and snooty comments about his orchestra's supposed vast superiority to our mainstream orchestras in this repertoire, and 
I  informed music.org of his  fatuous comments . You can see them at the orchestra's website, just  put New Queen's hall orchestra on your search engine.
    He wrote an angry response , accusing me of "bigotry" and "intolerance" toward his orchestra.  I replied that it's not his orchestra I object to, but his  claims.  His son Matthew,  who has written a biography of Richard Strauss came to his defense and made all kinds of ad  hominem attacks on me, accusing me of "stupidity", "ignorance" and "anti-intellectualism" .    His rant was too silly to offend me .
    You can see the whole  thing at musoc.org.
   I repeat - I'm not opposed to the use of period instruments , and don't condemn any one merely for using them. 
What I object to is  the stupid claims of so many HIP musicians. 
    I proposed the "Christopher Hogwash awards " for HIP fatuousness .   No offense meant to Hogwood personally .
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Lethevich on December 09, 2011, 01:50:55 PM
So you've managed to extrapolate one personal dispute onto most practictioners of a whole artform? That is pretty cool. Don't say that you wouldn't be so mad about the whole issue if that single event hadn't happened.

They're so cock sure of how "authentic they are

What other definition is there? Academy of Ancient Music and Concentus Musicus Wien sound more like classical period orchestras than the Berlin Philharmonic - this is a fact, and it is indisputable. That they sound exactly the same, I can't imagine many HIP musicians claiming (apart from perhaps your friend John Boyden).
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on December 09, 2011, 02:14:45 PM
"The Simpsons" was an utter and irredeemable waste of time and (at least a little) talent.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Superhorn on December 09, 2011, 03:50:03 PM
   Boyden, and his son, are carrying HIP rhetoric to absurd lengths .  They claim that  even the music of Richard Strauss, Elgar, Holst,
Vaughan Williams etc is absolutely wrong on today's instruments .  So we need HIP Richard Strauss ?  Holy cow, sheesh,
gadzooks,  and  yikes !   
   Basilcally , what gets my goat is not the use of period instruments per se,  but  the  modern instrument bashing that is so common
among HIP musicians and shills for HIP such as critic Andrew Porter .  Despite the  ubiquitousness of  period instruments today , I still
enjoy the old-fashioned politically incorrect performances  by  Karajan, Marriner,Leppard,  Klemperer,  Beecham,  and other  non HIP
conductors , as well as  other musicians, such as  Glenn Gould,  Wanda Landowska,  Itzhak Perlman, Pinchas Zukerman , et al .
    In fact, it's actually refreshing to hear those  despised   "wrong" performances   again . 
    And how  do  the Boydens know that Wagner, Brahms,  Mahler, Elgar,  etc would not have loved the way  our  great mainstream 
orchestras play their music today ? They don't, and can't .    The sheer arrogance and presumption of their claims  boggles the mind .
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Lethevich on December 09, 2011, 04:11:10 PM
I just don't understand how you can't see that the other side is just as bad. Zukerman has been a dick about HIP, Adam Fischer denounced it (before changing his mind a bit), critics like Hurwitz always go on biased rants against it, etc.

And on the HIP side we have people like Andrew Manze conducting modern orchestras (after previously largely focusing on HIP chamber music) saying it's now time to learn from HIP and see how it can be used to create a middle ground between period orchestras and modern, and we have Hogwood, etc, conducing early Romantic repertoire with modern orchestras. Hardly dogmatic?

Edit: fixed a major typo which contradicted a point.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: chasmaniac on December 09, 2011, 04:25:53 PM
Puppies are ugly.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on December 09, 2011, 05:14:29 PM
   Boyden, and his son, are carrying HIP rhetoric to absurd lengths .  They claim that  even the music of Richard Strauss, Elgar, Holst,
Vaughan Williams etc is absolutely wrong on today's instruments .  So we need HIP Richard Strauss ?  Holy cow, sheesh,
gadzooks,  and  yikes !   
   Basilcally , what gets my goat is not the use of period instruments per se,  but  the  modern instrument bashing that is so common
among HIP musicians and shills for HIP such as critic Andrew Porter.

Why you are blind to the sheer arrogance and presumption of this broad brush you're flailing, I've no idea.  I work with many musicians who work both in authentic practice, and modern style.  The violist with whom I play my The Mousetrap, for just one example.

But 'tis clear your mind is made up, and you are sturdily prepared not to be confused by facts.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: ibanezmonster on December 09, 2011, 07:36:45 PM
Puppies are ugly.
All babies are ugly.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Mirror Image on December 09, 2011, 08:29:18 PM
All babies are ugly.

How about baby ducks?

(http://www.howtodothings.com/files/u263/baby_ducks.jpg)

Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Mirror Image on December 09, 2011, 08:35:07 PM
Puppies are ugly.

Even dachschund puppies?

(http://classifiedonlineads.net/images/2011/07/09/1658/dachshund-babies_4.jpg)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: chasmaniac on December 10, 2011, 02:39:17 AM
Even dachschund puppies?

(http://classifiedonlineads.net/images/2011/07/09/1658/dachshund-babies_4.jpg)

Crav'st thou my wisdom? Yea, even unto the seventh generation shall the dachshund pup be hideous, for all its dewy eyes and suchlike. And does the baby duck not waddle without grace? Deny it not! For I am here for the lolz!

Oh, and Handel is the third or fourth GREATEST COMPOSER OF THE WORLD, EVAH.

So there!  :D
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: ibanezmonster on December 10, 2011, 05:04:34 AM
How about baby ducks?
Actually, I meant human babies. 
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Florestan on December 10, 2011, 05:19:43 AM
@ Superhorn

So, Gardiner, Norrington, Hogwood, Bruggen, Herreweghe, Bylsma et al. turn out to actually be... Boyden pere & fils with whom you had a bitter personal dispute...

   Boyden, and his son, are carrying HIP rhetoric to absurd lengths .  They claim that  even the music of Richard Strauss, Elgar, Holst, Vaughan Williams etc is absolutely wrong on today's instruments . 

So what? Why should you care in such a passionate manner about what they claim?

Quote
I still enjoy the old-fashioned politically incorrect performances  by  Karajan, Marriner,Leppard,  Klemperer,  Beecham,  and other  non HIP conductors , as well as  other musicians, such as  Glenn Gould,  Wanda Landowska,  Itzhak Perlman, Pinchas Zukerman , et al .     In fact, it's actually refreshing to hear those  despised   "wrong" performances   again . 

Ok, so what's your point? That we like what we like, period? All of us here agree on that.

Quote
    And how  do  the Boydens know that Wagner, Brahms,  Mahler, Elgar,  etc would not have loved the way  our  great mainstream  orchestras play their music today ? They don't, and can't .

The question can be reversed: how do you know that Wagner, Brahms,  Mahler, Elgar,  etc would have loved the way  our  great mainstream orchestras play their music today ? You don't, and can't.

Quote
    The sheer arrogance and presumption of their claims  boggles the mind .

What boggles the mind is the extraordinary importance you attach to their utterances.

Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on December 10, 2011, 05:27:09 AM
Actually, I meant human babies. 

Baby ducks can be ugly, too
 
(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/2/2c/Babyhuey.JPG)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: jowcol on December 14, 2011, 03:49:08 AM
Even dachschund puppies?

(http://classifiedonlineads.net/images/2011/07/09/1658/dachshund-babies_4.jpg)

I must confess a fondess for pug puppies.  But then again, I'm an owner.
(http://www.thingsthatmakeyougoaahh.com/images/176-magnus6wksm.jpg)
(http://pugforsale.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/spd_20100311201456_b.jpg)

When someone says "they're so ugly, they're cute" I just want to say "You're just ugly!"
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Superhorn on December 14, 2011, 09:02:58 AM
    Ducks are so overrated . They're not all they're quacked up to be !










 ;D                                                         ;D                                                              ;D                                                       ;D
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: jowcol on December 14, 2011, 02:42:58 PM
    Ducks are so overrated . They're not all they're quacked up to be !

 ;D                                                         ;D                                                              ;D                                                       ;D

CLUCK YOU!   Ooops.  I forgot my manners and resorted to fowl language.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: The Six on January 08, 2012, 10:20:06 AM
Stravinsky's neo-classical stuff is kind of sucky.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: The Six on August 06, 2012, 07:36:34 AM
Sometimes I hear a piece on the radio that I think is bad Beethoven, that makes me think, "wow, ol' Ludwig really didn't pull it off with this one."

Every time it turns out to be Schubert.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: ggluek on August 06, 2012, 02:47:30 PM
Back to the original thread:

1) If Vivaldi had never existed, there wouldn't be a single note he wrote that I would miss.

2) The note sequence B-A-C-H is an ugly sequence, and all the various Fantasies, Fantasias, Fugues, Variations, etc. based on it are correspondingly ugly pieces of music.

3) There's more genius in "Boris Godunov" than in all of Wagner put together.  (I don't really believe that, but I like "B.G." better than anything Wagner wrote. :-))

4) Mozart wrote fewer than a dozen works that are essential to a well-lived life.

I probably have more, but theswe should suffice for now.

george
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: eyeresist on August 08, 2012, 05:45:02 PM
Australian Eloquence has issued various recordings by the Vienna Philharmonic Quartet/Quintet, and I've greatly disliked them all.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: snyprrr on August 08, 2012, 08:47:30 PM
Sometimes I hear a piece on the radio that I think is bad Beethoven, that makes me think, "wow, ol' Ludwig really didn't pull it off with this one."

Every time it turns out to be Schubert.

ohh, that hurt, haha


Wow, this is the Best Thread Ever!! :-*
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Florestan on August 09, 2012, 04:37:05 AM
Sometimes I turn on a classical radio station and hear a random, ear-scratching noise; then I say to myself "Oh boy, their broadcasting system must be seriously fucked up."

Every time it turns out to actually be some Xenakis.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Gurn Blanston on August 09, 2012, 04:57:52 AM
Back to the original thread:

1) If Vivaldi had never existed, there wouldn't be a single note he wrote that I would miss.

4) Mozart wrote fewer than a dozen works that are essential to a well-lived life.

He uses a marvelous Ab crochet in 'Summer', I would miss the hell out of that.   ::)

Maybe so, but Wagner didn't write any, so a 12:0  ratio is fair. :)

8)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: TheGSMoeller on August 09, 2012, 05:27:01 AM
Puccini and Verdi are to opera what General Hospital and All My Children are to Television.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: snyprrr on August 09, 2012, 05:28:47 AM
Sometimes I turn on a classical radio station and hear a random, ear-scratching noise; then I say to myself "Oh boy, their broadcasting system must be seriously fucked up."

Every time it turns out to actually be some Xenakis.

ok, now I no longer like this Thread! ;) ;D
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Opus106 on August 09, 2012, 05:55:06 AM
Sometimes I turn on a classical radio station and hear a random, ear-scratching noise; then I say to myself "Oh boy, their broadcasting system must be seriously fucked up."

Every time it turns out to actually be some Xenakis.

The internetz is full of people who can't distinguish a fact from an opinion.

>:D

Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Gurn Blanston on August 09, 2012, 06:09:05 AM
The internetz is full of people who can't distinguish a fact from an opinion.

>:D

No need to be self-deprecating, Navneeth....  >:D

8)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Est.1965 on August 09, 2012, 06:14:12 AM
Sometimes I turn on a classical radio station and hear a random, ear-scratching noise; then I say to myself "Oh boy, their broadcasting system must be seriously fucked up."

Every time it turns out to actually be some Xenakis.

 :D :D :D
***POUNDS TABLE ***
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Opus106 on August 09, 2012, 06:19:00 AM
No need to be self-deprecating, Navneeth....  >:D

8)

::) Dude, I thought you were on my side.

Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Gurn Blanston on August 09, 2012, 06:33:27 AM
::) Dude, I thought you were on my side.

Dude, I am. I can't help myself sometimes.... :-\

8)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: DaveF on August 09, 2012, 06:36:39 AM
Sometimes I turn on a classical radio station and hear a random, ear-scratching noise; then I say to myself "Oh boy, their broadcasting system must be seriously fucked up."

Every time it turns out to actually be some Xenakis.

Do you have the wavelengths and/or Internet Radio URLs for these wonderful stations that actually play Xenakis?

And an opinion: the Baroque era was when musical padding was invented.   Music has never quite recovered.

DF
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Opus106 on August 09, 2012, 06:39:28 AM
Do you have the wavelengths and/or Internet Radio URLs for these wonderful stations that actually play Xenakis?

He can probably give you the frequency in Mega-hurtz.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Leon on August 09, 2012, 06:46:07 AM
And an opinion: the Baroque era was when musical padding was invented.   Music has never quite recovered.

Baroque "padding" vs. Xenakis' shrieking - hard choice; NOT!



Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on August 09, 2012, 07:37:31 AM
(* munches popcorn *)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: TheGSMoeller on August 09, 2012, 07:46:52 AM
(* munches popcorn *)

Wait, Karl, popcorn is actually fairly popular.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Opus106 on August 09, 2012, 07:49:53 AM
Wait, Karl, popcorn is actually fairly popular.

All the more reason to greedily munch it in front of its fan-base.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Superhorn on August 09, 2012, 08:31:08 AM
   This may be off topic, but it just occrred to me that Karl Henning's Latin motto
    "Et quid amabo nisi  quod  aenigma est ?  has the word "amabo"  , which is Obama backwards ! 
    Coincidence ? 
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: DavidRoss on August 09, 2012, 11:46:27 AM
The internetz is full of people who can't distinguish a fact from an opinion.
Not just the internetz, but newspaper, radio, and television press rooms, schools, voting booths, shopping centers, highways, sports arenas, and damned near everywhere else people congregate.

Personally, I don't believe that everyone is entitled to an opinion, but only those who have taken the time and made the effort to educate themselves so that their opinions are informed by understanding all of the information relevant to the subject.

It's liberating to have opinions on only a few subjects.   ;D
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: DaveF on August 09, 2012, 12:22:18 PM
Baroque "padding" vs. Xenakis' shrieking - hard choice; NOT!

Not even a choice; take the beginning of Metastaseis: Xenakis takes thirty-five bars to get from a unison G to a chord containing all 12 notes.  Palestrina would have done that in two beats.  Sheer padding.

DF
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: eyeresist on August 09, 2012, 06:41:33 PM
I finally heard some of Biondi's Vivaldi yesterday. I thought it was crap, though the terrible, terrible production may have been an influence.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: North Star on August 09, 2012, 11:19:49 PM
I finally heard some of Biondi's Vivaldi yesterday. I thought it was crap, though the terrible, terrible production may have been an influence.
What recording exactly?
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: TheGSMoeller on August 10, 2012, 02:55:06 AM
What recording exactly?

Certainly not this wonderful recording, I hope...  ;D


(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61HZs2PSjJL._SL400_AA250_.jpg)

Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Florestan on August 10, 2012, 03:14:55 AM
Personally, I don't believe that everyone is entitled to an opinion vote, but only those who have taken the time and made the effort to educate themselves so that their opinions votes are informed by understanding all of the information relevant to the subject.

Fixed in order to make it truly unpopular.  ;D

Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: DavidRoss on August 10, 2012, 03:48:10 AM
Fixed in order to make it truly unpopular.  ;D
Especially among the gleefully uninformed who are thrilled to be gullible pawns of a ruling class happy to flatter them into voting against their own best interests.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Florestan on August 10, 2012, 03:58:25 AM
Especially among the gleefully uninformed who are thrilled to be gullible pawns of a ruling class happy to flatter them into voting against their own best interests.

You're an unrepentant enemy of the people... beware the the sacred popular anger!  ;D
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Gurn Blanston on August 10, 2012, 04:21:58 AM
Especially among the gleefully uninformed who are thrilled to be gullible pawns of a ruling class happy to flatter them into voting against their own best interests.

Oh, that pisses YOU off too?  ::)

Trouble is, the moronism pandemic is just that. No where to go to avoid it. :-\

8)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: DavidRoss on August 10, 2012, 04:31:11 AM
Oh, that pisses YOU off too?  ::)

Trouble is, the moronism pandemic is just that. No where to go to avoid it. :-\
May God have mercy on our souls.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: DavidRoss on August 10, 2012, 04:51:01 AM
You're an unrepentant enemy of the people... beware the the sacred popular anger!  ;D
Ha! I made my choice long ago for the working class and not the ruling class. Sadly (due in no small part to subversion of America's public education system), the lower classes have become their own worst enemies, selling their votes and their children's futures for trinkets, drug-induced stupor, and empty promises.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on August 10, 2012, 05:25:05 AM
. . . selling their votes and their children's futures for trinkets, drug-induced stupor . . . .

(http://i.pinger.pl/pgr355/7473df1c00062a594da1e1cb/images.jpg)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: DavidRoss on August 10, 2012, 07:09:28 AM
(http://i.pinger.pl/pgr355/7473df1c00062a594da1e1cb/images.jpg)
No image, Karl.  Too bad, as doubtless it would have been amusing!
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Gurn Blanston on August 10, 2012, 07:16:40 AM
No image, Karl.  Too bad, as doubtless it would have been amusing!

Doh, it's my favorite Homer;

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/images.jpg)

8)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: North Star on August 10, 2012, 07:18:22 AM
No image, Karl.  Too bad, as doubtless it would have been amusing!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-4P1WPE-Qg
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: eyeresist on August 12, 2012, 04:28:44 PM
What recording exactly?

Four Seasons.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on August 13, 2012, 04:11:49 AM
Glee! Don't forget Glee!
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on August 13, 2012, 05:43:47 AM
Bit of goose for the pineapple distributors, though.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: zamyrabyrd on August 13, 2012, 06:12:19 AM
Glee! Don't forget Glee!

I'd rather forget it - anything but "gleeful".
Title: Re: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on August 13, 2012, 11:53:09 AM
I'd rather forget it

Normally, I cannot remember it, myself ....
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Concord on August 16, 2012, 10:52:21 AM
All Russian music is crap.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: TheGSMoeller on August 16, 2012, 11:40:18 AM
All Russian music is crap.


Except for the really good Russian music.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Sammy on August 16, 2012, 12:01:08 PM
All Russian music is crap.

I was in Concord last summer, and much Russian music was being played in the stores; those folks sure know their crap.
Title: Re: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on August 16, 2012, 12:13:26 PM

Except for the really good Russian music.

And so very much of it is really good.
Title: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: TheGSMoeller on August 16, 2012, 12:17:53 PM
All Russian music is crap.


Someone would like a word with you...


(http://img.tapatalk.com/4c61fab9-6379-2362.jpg)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Concord on August 16, 2012, 12:22:53 PM

Someone would like a word with you...


(http://img.tapatalk.com/4c61fab9-6379-2362.jpg)

And he's one of the worst.

(Hey, it's a thread for unpopular opinions.)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Brian on August 16, 2012, 12:28:58 PM
And he's one of the worst.

(Hey, it's a thread for unpopular opinions.)
It certainly is. :) Who's the least worst?
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: North Star on August 16, 2012, 01:25:24 PM

Someone would like a word with you...


(http://img.tapatalk.com/4c61fab9-6379-2362.jpg)

Just what exactly did he say?! (Not DSCH, but Concord)
(http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-KMgB4_UwLxY/T2_hQRNL2NI/AAAAAAAAAWo/zTwlMIwWT1Y/s320/stravinsky_igor_175x175.jpg)


And here's another modest musician deeply hurt by the statement:
(http://www.yevgenysudbin.com/photos-reper/reper-456.jpg)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Concord on August 17, 2012, 04:24:26 AM
:) Who's the least worst?

Borodin.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on August 17, 2012, 04:37:18 AM
Well, it would be a funny world if we all thought the same. Borodin (the talented amateur) is far down my list of favorite Russian composers!
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: eyeresist on August 17, 2012, 05:09:08 AM
Well, it would be a funny world if we all thought the same. Borodin (the talented amateur) is far down my list of favorite Russian composers!

Mm-hmm. Most of the Mighty Handful are on further acquaintance not that mighty.



.... he said, with great humility.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Concord on August 17, 2012, 07:32:15 AM
Well, it would be a funny world if we all thought the same. Borodin (the talented amateur) is far down my list of favorite Russian composers!

I guess I like him because, to my ear, he's the least Russian-sounding of the Russian composers. He reminds me more of Dvorak, which is not a bad thing.

There's Stravinsky, of course, but I think of him more as a world citizen.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: North Star on August 17, 2012, 01:50:11 PM
I guess I like him because, to my ear, he's the least Russian-sounding of the Russian composers. He reminds me more of Dvorak, which is not a bad thing.

There's Stravinsky, of course, but I think of him more as a world citizen.

The  Ballets russes works, among others, sound quite Russian to me.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Uncle Connie on August 17, 2012, 02:24:28 PM
The Russians are mostly not my greatest loves.

I listen to some of them because, in the car, I tune in to the radio stations and sometimes I get stuck with a Russian.

If I have the sense to take along a CD, there will be no Russian within a mile (c. 1.5 km.) of me.

Except Shostakovich.  Him I like.  Him in fact I adore.  And him, alone of all of them, I have a shelf full of CDs of.  (Syntax?  Sorry....)

Add three or four Prokofiev and a few Boris Tchaikovsky, and we're done.  Uncle's Russian adventure ends at that point.   

Do svidanya.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Concord on August 21, 2012, 05:28:04 AM
I agree: this is a thread, I thought, for unpopular musical opinions, such as, "Neo-romanticism is really just neo-commercialism."
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Johnll on August 21, 2012, 04:57:53 PM
A sincere and grateful Thank You!
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: RJR on August 23, 2012, 06:41:54 AM
I like Shostakovich but, after all, I could live perfectly happy without ever hearing a single note of his anymore. OTOH, how about your life without Mahler?  ;D
Doing just fine without Mahler. Don't even miss him.
And, except for the occasional moments, Bruckner as well.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Gurn Blanston on August 23, 2012, 06:45:48 AM
Doing just fine without Mahler. Don't even miss him.
And, except for the occasional moments, Bruckner as well.

Ditto.

8)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Leon on August 23, 2012, 10:11:11 AM
Except for Brahms, Verdi, and some French composers, e.g. Faure and Debussy; I could easily live without the last half of the 19th century.  Especially the orchestral works.  My listening habits normally span the Baroque-Classical eras and then skip right to the 20th century, bypassing the Romantic period as much as possible.

 :)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Scarpia on August 23, 2012, 10:19:07 AM
Doing just fine without Mahler. Don't even miss him.
And, except for the occasional moments, Bruckner as well.

I discovered Mahler during the LP era, which was good, because on an LP you can literally see the good parts in a Mahler symphony on the disc.  This allows you to skip past the endless "chamber music texture" and go straight to the two or three good minutes in each half-hour movement.*

[runs away]

*I exclude the 9th from this.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: springrite on August 23, 2012, 10:30:34 AM
Except for Brahms, Verdi, and some French composers, e.g. Faure and Debussy; I could easily live without the last half of the 19th century.  Especially the orchestral works.  My listening habits normally span the Baroque-Classical eras and then skip right to the 20th century, bypassing the Romantic period as much as possible.

 :)

This comes very close to my taste as well. I go mostly from Bach, The Classical Threesome all the way to Mahler and later. I think I skip a few more decades than you. Well, with the exceptions of Schumann and a few select few.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Gurn Blanston on August 23, 2012, 10:33:34 AM
Except for Brahms, Verdi, and some French composers, e.g. Faure and Debussy; I could easily live without the last half of the 19th century.  Especially the orchestral works.  My listening habits normally span the Baroque-Classical eras and then skip right to the 20th century, bypassing the Romantic period as much as possible.

 :)

I would replace Verdi with Dvorak and add Tchaikovsky, but only because I don't care much for 19th Century opera. Otherwise, that works for me, too.

8)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Florestan on August 23, 2012, 10:56:06 AM
Truth is, I could really  live without any music of any era*.

*(But would it be worth living?)

Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Opus106 on August 23, 2012, 10:59:53 PM
Keep up this ditto-ing and me-too-ing for a little while longer and you'll all be kicked out of this thread for holding popular opinions and posting them here. >:(
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: DavidRoss on August 24, 2012, 03:06:49 AM
I discovered Mahler during the LP era, which was good, because on an LP you can literally see the good parts in a Mahler symphony on the disc.  This allows you to skip past the endless "chamber music texture" and go straight to the two or three good minutes in each half-hour movement.*
I thought those were the good parts....  ???

This comes very close to my taste as well. I go mostly from Bach, The Classical Threesome all the way to Mahler and later. I think I skip a few more decades than you. Well, with the exceptions of Schumann Dvořák, Brahms, Tchaikovsky and a select few.
Ditto (but corrected with emphasis added).
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Est.1965 on August 24, 2012, 03:16:59 AM
Well, I tried and tried, sometimes I liked (seldom), but still atonal and Avant-garde music is complete tosh, utter nonsense, and indeed, mostly not even musical.  There is nothing in it of any value.  It is like Homeopathy saying it's better, goes deeper,  than scientifically proven medical practice.  Pretentious and unattractive...and bollocks..  Harrumph!!!   >:(
Hows that for an unpopular opinion?   0:)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on August 24, 2012, 03:37:42 AM
Well, I tried and tried, sometimes I liked (seldom), but still atonal and Avant-garde music is complete tosh, utter nonsense, and indeed, mostly not even musical.  There is nothing in it of any value.  It is like Homeopathy saying it's better, goes deeper,  than scientifically proven medical practice.  Pretentious and unattractive...and bollocks..  Harrumph!!!   >:(
Hows that for an unpopular opinion?   0:)

My next atonal piece, I'm writin' fer you, laddie! : )
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Est.1965 on August 24, 2012, 04:17:02 AM
My next atonal piece, I'm writin' fer you, laddie! : )

Oh dear... :-\ :o ???
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on August 24, 2012, 06:01:15 AM
Well, sorry you've a wait! Only the atonal score I'm presently working on is already bespoke! : )
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Concord on August 24, 2012, 11:33:08 AM
Well, I tried and tried, sometimes I liked (seldom), but still atonal and Avant-garde music is complete tosh, utter nonsense, and indeed, mostly not even musical.  There is nothing in it of any value.  It is like Homeopathy saying it's better, goes deeper,  than scientifically proven medical practice.  Pretentious and unattractive...and bollocks..  Harrumph!!!   >:(
Hows that for an unpopular opinion?   0:)

Not really all that unpopular ... ;)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Mirror Image on August 29, 2012, 01:20:17 PM
Well, I tried and tried, sometimes I liked (seldom), but still atonal and Avant-garde music is complete tosh, utter nonsense, and indeed, mostly not even musical.  There is nothing in it of any value.  It is like Homeopathy saying it's better, goes deeper,  than scientifically proven medical practice.  Pretentious and unattractive...and bollocks..  Harrumph!!!   >:(
Hows that for an unpopular opinion?   0:)

The greater part of me agrees with you profusely, John, but the other part disagrees only on the grounds that there are several atonal works that I do love and have come to enjoy just as much as music with more tonality. Alban Berg is certainly my favorite composer from this school of thought, but I do love some Ligeti as well. I even like some of Schoenberg's 12-tone works. I guess it all depends on what you're listening for in music. There's plenty of emotion in this music, but you're right there's a lot of it that just seems to be one giant experiment for it's own sake. A lot of this "music" I simply put in file 13 but there is some of it that I do enjoy and that does touch my heart.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: bigshot on August 29, 2012, 09:20:04 PM
I've got a good one... I think the best British classical composers are the LIGHT classical ones. I enjoy Farnon and Coates more than Britten and Elgar.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: starrynight on September 06, 2012, 10:08:25 PM
I've got a good one... I think the best British classical composers are the LIGHT classical ones. I enjoy Farnon and Coates more than Britten and Elgar.

But Elgar did some nice lighter pieces.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: otare on September 09, 2012, 01:57:12 AM
I don't like the voice of Kirsten Flagstad! I have tried and tried, but I don't see what is so fantastic about her singing.
Being Norwegian, this is a really unpopular opinion!
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Ten thumbs on September 09, 2012, 07:06:29 AM
Seems like I have an unpopular opinion because I like the music of the Romantic era. I just wish that more people would try and understand it. I like the ideal of every note and every harmony being crucial to the whole.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: DavidRoss on September 09, 2012, 07:32:46 AM
Seems like I have an unpopular opinion because I like the music of the Romantic era. I just wish that more people would try and understand it. I like the ideal of every note and every harmony being crucial to the whole.
The political correctness of university culture conditioned me to disparage Romantic music in my youth (perhaps because it was so popular despite the efforts of academic composers & critics to cram "music by the numbers" down our throats?). In my maturity (40+ for me, a late-bloomer, indeed, but at least I bloomed!), I realized slowly that much of my favorite music was of the sort often classified as Romantic. That helped open my mind to other composers and music that I'd never really given a fair chance to--most notably Sibelius, long disparaged as a retrograde Romantic but whom I subsequently heard as the paragon of Modernism (in every sense but the very narrow academic orthodoxy equating "Modern" music solely with Schoenberg and his followers).

The gist of this all is that I relearned what I had learned long ago in school, that the things of the world are distinct from the categories and concepts we apply to them, and that  it's a grave handicap to mistake things for their common classifications. This is the most widespread category error on earth, and the reason why Hell is paved with good intentions.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Madiel on September 10, 2012, 11:44:26 PM
Ravel and Debussy have virtually nothing in common as composers.

Oh, and Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance" is a brilliantly crafted song.  With "Paparazzi" also being exceptionally good.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: DavidW on September 11, 2012, 01:10:09 AM
I like listening to music on my phone. :)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Opus106 on September 11, 2012, 01:22:20 AM
I like listening to music on my phone. :)

Also, you like Mendelssohn. :P
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: DavidW on September 11, 2012, 01:46:10 AM
Also, you like Mendelssohn. :P

You betcha! ;D
Title: Re: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on September 11, 2012, 01:58:37 AM
You betcha! ;D

Smack 'em, Davey, je-je-jeh!
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: CaughtintheGaze on September 11, 2012, 08:42:54 PM
I like listening to music on my phone. :)

This is actually the most efficient way for me to listen, as I have a 30 minute walk to school.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Rinaldo on September 12, 2012, 03:02:09 AM
I like listening to music on my phone. :)

As long as you use headphones..

Although the image of teenagers blasting, say, Wagner on the bus from the tiny cellphone speakers is quite endearing.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Mirror Image on September 12, 2012, 08:17:16 AM
Here's some unpopular opinions: Mozart wasn't a genius, Bach is a bore, Beethoven is overrated, need I go on or have I done enough damage? :D
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Opus106 on September 12, 2012, 08:29:06 AM
Here's some unpopular opinions: Mozart wasn't a genius, Bach is a bore, Beethoven is overrated, need I go on or have I done enough damage? :D

No to both. All that is just old hat. :P
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Mirror Image on September 12, 2012, 11:06:08 AM
No to both. All that is just old hat. :P

This is true. ;D
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Rinaldo on September 12, 2012, 11:07:16 AM
Here's some unpopular opinions: Mozart wasn't a genius, Bach is a bore, Beethoven is overrated, need I go on or have I done enough damage? :D

There were times when I would agree with the last two statements but my position has been constantly eroding since then (mostly due to the St Matthew Passion / Goldbergs and Beethoven's piano sonatas & SQ's). I'd still say that most of the time, Bach lacks soul, but I'd have to be drunk and not in the company of people who understand music better than me - e.g. GMG :)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Lisztianwagner on September 12, 2012, 11:19:39 AM
Here's some unpopular opinions: Mozart wasn't a genius, Bach is a bore, Beethoven is overrated, need I go on or have I done enough damage? :D

Quite right! ;)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Mirror Image on September 12, 2012, 11:36:25 AM
There were times when I would agree with the last two statements but my position has been constantly eroding since then (mostly due to the St Matthew Passion / Goldbergs and Beethoven's piano sonatas & SQ's). I'd still say that most of the time, Bach lacks soul, but I'd have to be drunk and not in the company of people who understand music better than me - e.g. GMG :)

Before getting into classical, people online would keep telling me what composers I need to listen to. Most of them said either Mozart, Beethoven, or Bach. What these people don't understand and probably still don't is that I believe people need to create their path with music. I mean sure we can take a suggestion or a recommendation for a recording, but, ultimately, we are the only ones that can decide what we want out of this music. Mozart, Bach, and Beethoven aren't composers I flock to nor have I ever even considered them apart of my musical vocabulary. Perhaps some of this comes from the fact that I didn't study music and thus I never had to learn a Bach or Beethoven piece on the piano. No, I come to music from a completely different side. I came to classical from a rock and jazz background with no training in the alleged 'classics'. When I chose to explore Bartok, Ravel, or Bruckner, people who knew I was new to classical would say that I need to be listening to better, more influential composers. After awhile, I considered these suggestions nothing more than a form of bullying. Nobody can force you to listen to anything. I think these "suggestions" did more harm than good. Now, I'm glad I did what the hell I wanted to and didn't listen to the naysayers who said I was making a mistake by purposely bypassing the Baroque and Classical Eras. I bypassed these periods of music because they didn't interest me. I like dissonance that is in your face. I like harmonic ambiguity. I like music that pounds away at your heartstrings and never lets up and music that starts off witty but suddenly becomes vulgar. This is the music of my soul. It is real, it is honest.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Rinaldo on September 12, 2012, 12:01:38 PM
Before getting into classical, people online would keep telling me what composers I need to listen to. Most of them said either Mozart, Beethoven, or Bach. What these people don't understand and probably still don't is that I believe people need to create their path with music.

AMEN TO THAT!
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: ruramikael on September 12, 2012, 12:26:15 PM
If I had not discovered Liszt, Peterson-Berger, Rangström and Stenhammar in the mid-80s, I would probably have been less interested in classical music today. Beethoven is still number one to me, but Mozart and Brahms are not so concsistent (according to my taste).
I also feel the need to hear music live (same with rock music), and my favourite composers (except Beethoven....) are performed very infrequently (at least in Sweden :().

/Mikael
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Est.1965 on September 12, 2012, 12:51:48 PM
If I had not discovered Liszt, Peterson-Berger, Rangström and Stenhammar in the mid-80s, I would probably have been less interested in classical music today. Beethoven is still number one to me, but Mozart and Brahms are not so concsistent (according to my taste).
I also feel the need to hear music live (same with rock music), and my favourite composers (except Beethoven....) are performed very infrequently (at least in Sweden :().

/Mikael

Yes yes!  Another Swedish music lover!  Atterberg and Rangstrom in particular rock my boat in an alarming way.  Welcome Mikael!!  Your opinion is not at all unpopular!!
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Madiel on September 12, 2012, 01:04:45 PM
Here's some unpopular opinions: Mozart wasn't a genius, Bach is a bore, Beethoven is overrated, need I go on or have I done enough damage? :D

No no, you've told me quite enough about yourself already.

*Puts on 'Tempest' Piano Sonata*
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Mirror Image on September 12, 2012, 01:45:08 PM
No no, you've told me quite enough about yourself already.

*Puts on 'Tempest' Piano Sonata*

^
^
Said the guy who can't make up his mind which box set to buy. ::) At least I know what I like and what I don't like.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: eyeresist on September 12, 2012, 04:55:50 PM
You don't have to be a genius all of the time. You just have to be a genius at the right time:



So much less of a bore than Bartok.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: DavidW on September 12, 2012, 05:00:44 PM
MI, by coming from a view point of anger you're shutting yourself out from the better picture.  What would Beethoven or Bach care about the people who suggested they listen to their music?  What do those people even care if you follow their advise or not?  Answer: not a whit.  And who do you really hurt?  Yourself.  Being upset abut being recommended music is the silliest sob story that I've ever heard.  Defining your interests based on what you like is cool, getting bent out of shape because you don't like what the majority likes is not.  Just listening to CM means that you like music that the majority does not like.  If you truly accept your tastes, then you will not want validation from others, which in turns means that you will not be upset when it is not granted.
Title: Re: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on September 12, 2012, 05:05:48 PM
MI, by coming from a view point of anger you're shutting yourself out from the better picture.  What would Beethoven or Bach care about the people who suggested they listen to their music?  What do those people even care if you follow their advise or not?  Answer: not a whit.  And who do you really hurt?  Yourself.  Being upset abut being recommended music is the silliest sob story that I've ever heard.  Defining your interests based on what you like is cool, getting bent out of shape because you don't like what the majority likes is not.  Just listening to CM means that you like music that the majority does not like.  If you truly accept your tastes, then you will not want validation from others, which in turns means that you will not be upset when it is not granted.

Post of the day.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Mirror Image on September 12, 2012, 05:09:46 PM
MI, by coming from a view point of anger you're shutting yourself out from the better picture.  What would Beethoven or Bach care about the people who suggested they listen to their music?  What do those people even care if you follow their advise or not?  Answer: not a whit.  And who do you really hurt?  Yourself.  Being upset abut being recommended music is the silliest sob story that I've ever heard.  Defining your interests based on what you like is cool, getting bent out of shape because you don't like what the majority likes is not.  Just listening to CM means that you like music that the majority does not like.  If you truly accept your tastes, then you will not want validation from others, which in turns means that you will not be upset when it is not granted.

I don't need validation from others. I also never needed a recommendation from a classical snob who thinks they know music better than I do. The problem I encountered where people telling me what I need to listen to. My whole argument is exactly your point, Dave. I also am not coming from a viewpoint of anger. I'm coming from the viewpoint of somebody who gets damn tired of people thumbing their noses at me because I don't listen to what they think I should be listening to.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Gurn Blanston on September 12, 2012, 05:44:50 PM
....I also am not coming from a viewpoint of anger. I'm coming from the viewpoint of somebody who gets damn tired of people thumbing their noses at me because I don't listen to what they think I should be listening to.

It was easy to tell that there was no anger there, you didn't need to belabor it. ::)  Anyway, who really gives a damn what you listen to? You like what you like, I like what I like, DavidW likes what he likes. Where's the problem? It's kinda like you have a teeny tiny chip on your shoulder... :)

8)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Madiel on September 12, 2012, 10:21:36 PM
What about 2012 purchases? What is on your list right now?

34 CDs of Dvorak, Poulenc, Janacek, Liszt, Delibes and Bridge.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Superhorn on September 13, 2012, 06:15:30 AM
   Please excuse the alliteration , but  Chopin wrote music of pallid prettiness, perfumed preciosity and swooning salonish sentimentality .
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Est.1965 on September 13, 2012, 06:19:57 AM
   ....Chopin wrote music of pallid prettiness, perfumed preciosity and swooning salonish sentimentality .

Say that rapidly and accurately six times and I will believe you.   :P  Mind you, I can easily say that myself six times quickly.  er...
that that that that that that
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on September 13, 2012, 06:39:05 AM
   Please excuse the alliteration , but  Chopin wrote music of pallid prettiness, perfumed preciosity and swooning salonish sentimentality .

That is not an unpopular opinion. It is the opinion of a philistine ; )
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on September 13, 2012, 06:41:05 AM
Unpopular opinion is something like I just plain like atonal music.  Stating that you have no appreciation for Bach, Mozart, Beethoven or Chopin isn't an opinion: it's lack of taste ; )
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Mirror Image on September 13, 2012, 07:23:50 AM
Unpopular opinion is something like I just plain like atonal music.  Stating that you have no appreciation for Bach, Mozart, Beethoven or Chopin isn't an opinion: it's lack of taste ; )

 :P
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on September 13, 2012, 08:05:10 AM
   Please excuse the alliteration , but  Chopin wrote music of pallid prettiness, perfumed preciosity and swooning salonish sentimentality .

This is precisely the kind of smug, self-satisfied, superficial nonsense that makes someone like myself unwilling to contribute any further to a forum like this. It is blatantly inaccurate and betrays a virtually complete lack of basic knowledge of Chopin's music, to which such epithets as the above apply to only a small percentage of his weaker early work. And if the writer makes any attempt at further alliteration, I will be more than happy to thunder the B minor scherzo, the D minor prelude, and both C minor etudes in his ears seriatim until he repents, recants, and otherwise refuses to restate such ridiculous rodomontade.
Title: Re: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on September 13, 2012, 08:16:33 AM
This is precisely the kind of smug, self-satisfied, superficial nonsense that makes someone like myself unwilling to contribute any further to a forum like this. It is blatantly inaccurate and betrays a virtually complete lack of basic knowledge of Chopin's music, to which such epithets as the above apply to only a small percentage of his weaker early work. And if the writer makes any attempt at further alliteration, I will be more than happy to thunder the B minor scherzo, the D minor prelude, and both C minor etudes in his ears seriatim until he repents, recants, and otherwise refuses to restate such ridiculous rodomontade.

Thunder on, poco Sfz!
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Brewski on September 13, 2012, 08:19:21 AM
(Filing away reminder to use "rodomontade" as soon as possible.)

--Bruce
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Superhorn on September 13, 2012, 09:04:03 AM
   Maybe I'm a philistine, but you should remember that the Biblical philistines were actually a very cultured and artistic people !
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: CaughtintheGaze on September 13, 2012, 09:17:44 AM
This is precisely the kind of smug, self-satisfied, superficial nonsense that makes someone like myself unwilling to contribute any further to a forum like this. It is blatantly inaccurate and betrays a virtually complete lack of basic knowledge of Chopin's music, to which such epithets as the above apply to only a small percentage of his weaker early work. And if the writer makes any attempt at further alliteration, I will be more than happy to thunder the B minor scherzo, the D minor prelude, and both C minor etudes in his ears seriatim until he repents, recants, and otherwise refuses to restate such ridiculous rodomontade.

I can't tell if either of you are actually serious.
Title: Re: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on September 13, 2012, 09:19:35 AM
   Maybe I'm a philistine, but you should remember that the Biblical philistines were actually a very cultured and artistic people !

Yes, the Cretans, too.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: The new erato on September 13, 2012, 09:26:35 AM
I don't need validation from others. I also never needed a recommendation from a classical snob who thinks they know music better than I do. The problem I encountered where people telling me what I need to listen to. My whole argument is exactly your point, Dave. I also am not coming from a viewpoint of anger. I'm coming from the viewpoint of somebody who gets damn tired of people thumbing their noses at me because I don't listen to what they think I should be listening to.
There's a world of differnece between "don't listen to" (which of course is your right and I won't even bat an eyelid by your choices) and "Bach is a bore" - which he isn't - and people will argue you forever because it's just plain wrong.

Why this eagerness to brand music one doen't find interesting on a personal level as boring, overrated or whatever? To me it seems like validation when we need to brand music we don't enjoy as "bad" and music we enjoy as "good".
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: The new erato on September 13, 2012, 09:28:36 AM
   Please excuse the alliteration , but  Chopin wrote music of pallid prettiness, perfumed preciosity and swooning salonish sentimentality .
Pardon my English, but I don't find pretty, precious or sentimental even slightly derogative.
Title: Re: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Gurn Blanston on September 13, 2012, 09:30:21 AM
Yes, the Cretans, too.

Spellcheck, Karl, spellcheck...  :D

8)
Title: Re: Re: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on September 13, 2012, 09:42:55 AM
Spellcheck, Karl, spellcheck...  :D

8)

Oui
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: ruramikael on September 13, 2012, 10:42:44 AM
I don't need validation from others. I also never needed a recommendation from a classical snob who thinks they know music better than I do. The problem I encountered where people telling me what I need to listen to. My whole argument is exactly your point, Dave. I also am not coming from a viewpoint of anger. I'm coming from the viewpoint of somebody who gets damn tired of people thumbing their noses at me because I don't listen to what they think I should be listening to.
Right know I am listening to Paderewski Piano Concerto op. 17, which is much better than I expected. I still feel a need to inform people that a particular composer is often much better than his reputation. Perform something different, it is not necessary to play Symphonie Fantastique every season..........(and I like Berlioz!)./Mikael
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Sammy on September 13, 2012, 10:51:49 AM
I don't need validation from others. I also never needed a recommendation from a classical snob who thinks they know music better than I do. The problem I encountered where people telling me what I need to listen to. My whole argument is exactly your point, Dave. I also am not coming from a viewpoint of anger. I'm coming from the viewpoint of somebody who gets damn tired of people thumbing their noses at me because I don't listen to what they think I should be listening to.

I had the notion that this was a thread where someone could offer an unpopular opinion without getting blasted.  Guess I was wrong about that.  At any rate, if blasting is okay, MI is the man to be on the receiving end.  He just loves to dump on the most popular composers; must make him feel special.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on September 13, 2012, 11:43:24 AM
"A lot of people like Bach. A solid consensus of professional musicians hold Bach in high esteem, even in admiration. He can't be any good. Give me some Milhaud."
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Superhorn on September 13, 2012, 12:12:17 PM
    Maybe I was being a little hard with poor old freddie C, but I was just trying to push the envelope .  I've never even been to Crete,
so you can't call me a Cretan .
People have said far worse things about composers I love dearly , such as Wagner, Bruckner, Mahler, and Richard Strauss.
But I don't call people who dislike their music  philistines . 
Title: Re: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on September 13, 2012, 12:27:25 PM
But I don't call people who dislike their music  philistines.

People who simply and honestly say "I don't like Chopin's music" are not philistines. Saying the sort of ignorant rubbish which you offered as a "critique," is philistinism.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: DavidW on September 13, 2012, 12:32:54 PM
I have another unpopular opinion!

Schumann is a fine symphonist. 0:)
Title: Re: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on September 13, 2012, 12:34:57 PM
I have another unpopular opinion!

Schumann is a fine symphonist. 0:)

Clara? Are you nuts? ; )
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: madaboutmahler on September 13, 2012, 12:35:29 PM
Schumann is a fine symphonist. 0:)

Certainly, Dave!!!! I love his symphonies! His 4th is a piece I listen to every Saturday while travelling back home from the academy! :) I love the other 3 very very much too. :)  0:)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: ruramikael on September 13, 2012, 12:43:09 PM
How about poor orchestration? I  think that Brahms texture is too heavy. Normally Schumann's orchestration is considered as poor, but to me Brahms may be even worse (This is a very unpopular opinion by experience...). :-X

Mikael
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: eyeresist on September 13, 2012, 04:59:26 PM
Why this eagerness to brand music one doen't find interesting on a personal level as boring, overrated or whatever? To me it seems like validation when we need to brand music we don't enjoy as "bad" and music we enjoy as "good".

As I posited elsewhere (to zero reaction), I think the moral and aesthetic senses are actually one and the same.



   Maybe I'm a philistine, but you should remember that the Biblical philistines were actually a very cultured and artistic people !

Political correctness gone mad!


;)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: PaulR on September 13, 2012, 05:07:52 PM
"A lot of people like Bach. A solid consensus of professional musicians hold Bach in high esteem, even in admiration. He can't be any good. Give me some Milhaud."
(Side note:  One knows when one has read too much Adorno with that kind of statement)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Mirror Image on September 13, 2012, 05:22:14 PM
I had the notion that this was a thread where someone could offer an unpopular opinion without getting blasted.  Guess I was wrong about that.  At any rate, if blasting is okay, MI is the man to be on the receiving end.  He just loves to dump on the most popular composers; must make him feel special.

I assumed this was the thread where I could state something that would be unpopular and get away it. I guess not! I like plenty of "popular" composers I just don't like ones that bore me to tears. Like, hmmm....I don't know, BACH!!! Bach's music is definitely a cure for insomnia.
Title: Re: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: eyeresist on September 13, 2012, 05:31:40 PM
People who simply and honestly say "I don't like Chopin's music" are not philistines. Saying the sort of ignorant rubbish which you offered as a "critique," is philistinism.

Well, he's saying why he doesn't like it, which is a reaction based on personal taste. (How could it be anything else?)

He's not insisting we dig up and burn poor old Frederick C!


I can see how someone might hear mere perfumed frippery in some of Chopin, but... well... I choose to ignore those elements of the music in favour of the brilliant, orginal writing and terrific tunes :)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: liuzerus87 on September 13, 2012, 06:12:45 PM
How about poor orchestration? I  think that Brahms texture is too heavy. Normally Schumann's orchestration is considered as poor, but to me Brahms may be even worse (This is a very unpopular opinion by experience...). :-X

Mikael

Obligatory indignant response.

Actually, I find that this is a very common opinion. I don't agree at all with this, but I've seen similar sentiments expressed often. However, complaining about his chamber music might actually make you a "philistine".
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: The Six on September 13, 2012, 06:54:31 PM
As the original Koechlin lover on this board, I can say that Bach's Partita No. 6 is the best thing he ever wrote, and maybe the best multi-movement keyboard work, as well (not that I've heard them all).
Title: Re: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: CaughtintheGaze on September 13, 2012, 07:16:45 PM
Well, he's saying why he doesn't like it, which is a reaction based on personal taste. (How could it be anything else?)

He's not insisting we dig up and burn poor old Frederick C!


I can see how someone might hear mere perfumed frippery in some of Chopin, but... well... I choose to ignore those elements of the music in favour of the brilliant, orginal writing and terrific tunes :)

He also wrote terrible symphonies.
Title: Re: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: eyeresist on September 13, 2012, 07:34:35 PM
He also wrote terrible symphonies.

Nope, too obscure, sorry.
Title: Re: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: CaughtintheGaze on September 14, 2012, 03:00:30 AM
Nope, too obscure, sorry.

They were all silent. Conceptual, you know? And I was like, "Fred, ain't no one goin' get this. It's too high-minded and abstract. You gotta brak that groove down." That's what I said.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: eyeresist on September 14, 2012, 03:14:08 AM

*Silence*
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Madiel on September 14, 2012, 03:15:48 AM
Whereas Chopin's operas are exceptionally good.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Opus106 on September 14, 2012, 03:22:12 AM
Uh, guys, the Unfounded Opinions thread is down the hall.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Brewski on September 14, 2012, 05:12:25 AM
Whereas Chopin's operas are exceptionally good.

 ;D

Uh, guys, the Unfounded Opinions thread is down the hall.

 ;D  ;D

--Bruce
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: CaughtintheGaze on September 14, 2012, 05:15:45 AM
Uh, guys, the Unfounded Opinions thread is down the hall.

It's called multiverse. Duh.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Opus106 on September 14, 2012, 05:30:51 AM
It's called multiverse. Duh.

As I said, down the hall.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on September 14, 2012, 05:36:46 AM
Pettersson sucks lemur gonads.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: springrite on September 14, 2012, 05:39:25 AM
Pettersson sucks lemur gonads.

Composer who doubles as gonad expert. I wouldn't be able to tell the differences between a lemur gonad and a baboon testicle.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on September 14, 2012, 05:40:45 AM
Nor I. It's in his diaries.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: CaughtintheGaze on September 14, 2012, 06:29:14 AM
As I said, down the hall.

Ai! That's not unfounded! It was demonstrated for all to see on Family Guy or are you Brian Giffin?
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Opus106 on September 14, 2012, 06:37:46 AM
Ai! That's not unfounded! It was demonstrated for all to see on Family Guy or are you Brian Giffin?

I might be, in another part of the multiverse... if only that were true.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Est.1965 on September 14, 2012, 07:08:55 AM
Pettersson sucks lemur gonads.

A most satisfying and eminently invigourating activity.  Recommended.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Madiel on September 14, 2012, 07:16:04 AM
Uh, guys, the Unfounded Opinions thread is down the hall.

Now, see, the very FIRST thing you need to do if you're aiming to get your opinion away from all those boringly popular opinions is to create your own facts.  Clears the field nicely.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: CaughtintheGaze on September 14, 2012, 07:19:43 AM
Now, see, the very FIRST thing you need to do if you're aiming to get your opinion away from all those boringly popular opinions is to create your own facts.  Clears the field nicely.

Chopin's Symphony No 2
http://www.cduniverse.com/search/xx/music/pid/1490230/a/Chopin%3A+Symphony+No.+2.htm
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Est.1965 on September 14, 2012, 07:37:06 AM
This thread has the potnetial to be as popular as the WAYLT thread.   :P

Viva Chopin.   8)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: springrite on September 14, 2012, 07:43:32 AM
Opinions that are popular are absolutely worthless.

If the unpopular opinion thread becomes way too popular, it also becomes totally worthless.

We can call this thread WAYOUT (What Are Your Opioninated Utterances Today?)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Est.1965 on September 14, 2012, 07:56:42 AM
Opinions that are popular are absolutely worthless.

A popular opinion in itself.   :P
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Gurn Blanston on September 14, 2012, 08:53:14 AM
Composer who doubles as gonad expert. I wouldn't be able to tell the differences between a lemur gonad and a baboon testicle.

Size, as I understand it.... :)

8)
Title: Re: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on September 14, 2012, 09:09:54 AM
Viva Chopin.   8)

I'm with you, laddie!
Title: Re: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on September 14, 2012, 09:16:28 AM
We can call this thread WAYOUT (What Are Your Opioninated Utterances Today?)

Flash-freeze gnu's vomit, thaw, steam, serve on artisanal multigrain toast, and the result is æsthetically superior to Glazunov.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on September 14, 2012, 09:17:23 AM
Because just saying "I don't seem to care for Glazunov" isn't enough.
Title: Re: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: springrite on September 14, 2012, 09:21:32 AM
Flash-freeze gnu's vomit, thaw, steam, serve on artisanal multigrain toast, and the result is æsthetically superior to Glazunov.
I see you hold Ditters von Dittersdorf on a far loftier level than Glazunov!
Title: Re: Re: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on September 14, 2012, 09:26:48 AM
I see you hold Ditters von Dittersdorf on a far loftier level than Glazunov!

Or, I'm still just warming up....
Title: Re: Re: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: springrite on September 14, 2012, 09:28:10 AM
Or, I'm still just warming up....

At least I know you are not just a sucker for anything Russian!
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Brian on September 14, 2012, 09:32:45 AM
Beethoven's Violin Concerto and Brahms' First Piano Concerto are among my least favorite works by anybody, ever.  :(
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: springrite on September 14, 2012, 09:52:06 AM
Beethoven's Violin Concerto and Brahms' First Piano Concerto are among my least favorite works by anybody, ever.  :(

Always nice to see John Cage moving up the ranking...  ;D
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Est.1965 on September 14, 2012, 10:09:52 AM
Always nice to see John Cage moving up the ranking...  ;D

SILENCE!!!!!   >:(
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: DavidW on September 14, 2012, 10:29:04 AM
I've got a couple more:

Vivaldi is a great composer.

Mozart's early works are worth listening to.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: springrite on September 14, 2012, 10:34:23 AM
SILENCE!!!!!   >:(

Deafening, isn't it?  ;)
Title: Re: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on September 14, 2012, 10:55:12 AM
Mozart's early works are worth listening to.

How early? ; )

Of course, in a Cageian way, anything is worth listening to....
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: starrynight on September 14, 2012, 11:42:49 AM
I've got a couple more:

Vivaldi is a great composer.

Mozart's early works are worth listening to.

Are they unpopular opinions in general?  Which brings up how do you define or even know what is unpopular in general, or is it just among people you know, or does it just mean pieces which aren't that well known rather than unpopular?  Obviously some things have more acclaim and will take the limelight more, that's inevitable and doesn't have to reflect badly on lesser known works. 

Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Gurn Blanston on September 14, 2012, 12:04:55 PM
Are they unpopular opinions in general?  Which brings up how do you define or even know what is unpopular in general, or is it just among people you know, or does it just mean pieces which aren't that well known rather than unpopular?  Obviously some things have more acclaim and will take the limelight more, that's inevitable and doesn't have to reflect badly on lesser known works.

If these 2 are considered representational, then I would say unpopular in general, since the majority of those who express an opinion on either of them tend to be negative. I personally feel that these people suffer from cranio-rectal inversion syndrome (CRIS), but hey, that's just me; Mr Unpopular himself. :)

8)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: TheGSMoeller on September 14, 2012, 12:38:36 PM
20th Century SQs

Britten > Shostakovich
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Madiel on September 14, 2012, 06:39:54 PM
Chopin's Symphony No 2
http://www.cduniverse.com/search/xx/music/pid/1490230/a/Chopin%3A+Symphony+No.+2.htm

Oh Lordy. Another recording to buy?
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: springrite on September 14, 2012, 07:51:44 PM
Oh Lordy. Another recording to buy?
Be patient. Wait till the Complete Chopin Symphonies boxset to come out. You'd get a much better deal then,.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Madiel on September 14, 2012, 11:40:00 PM
And how long's that going to take?  I mean, as far as I know no-one's recorded Symphony No.5 yet!

http://www.justsheetmusic.com/sheet-music/frederic-chopin-symphony-no-5/ (http://www.justsheetmusic.com/sheet-music/frederic-chopin-symphony-no-5/)

EDIT: Follow the links, you'll also find Chopin performing the William Tell Overture.  I'm not kidding. I wish to God that I was, but I'm not.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Superhorn on September 16, 2012, 07:22:58 AM
   What's gnu, said the wildebeest . 








 ;D                                                                  ;D                                                           ;D
Title: Re: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: eyeresist on September 16, 2012, 06:17:45 PM
Flash-freeze gnu's vomit, thaw, steam, serve on artisanal multigrain toast, and the result is æsthetically superior to Glazunov.
Such invective for such a harmless composer! Do you not even like the Seasons?

20th Century SQs

Britten > Shostakovich

My arse > Britten
Title: Re: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Brian on September 16, 2012, 06:19:47 PM
Such invective for such a harmless composer! Do you not even like the Seasons?
My favorite Glazunov, way ahead of the Seasons, is the opulent String Quintet Op 39. If you didn't know better you'd think it was Borodin. Checked the log; I've listened to Glazunov 10 times in 2011-12 and 6 of those 10 have been the quintet.
Title: Re: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: eyeresist on September 16, 2012, 06:36:50 PM
My favorite Glazunov, way ahead of the Seasons, is the opulent String Quintet Op 39. If you didn't know better you'd think it was Borodin.

I'm afraid I find Borodin a bore.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: TheGSMoeller on September 16, 2012, 09:46:14 PM
20th Century SQs

Britten > Shostakovich

My arse > Britten

I was unaware your arse composed music, well, I guess all of ours do in a way.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: eyeresist on September 16, 2012, 09:53:29 PM
I was unaware your arse composed music, well, I guess all of ours do in a way.

*Deleted comment about Concerto for Trouser Trumpet*
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: CaughtintheGaze on September 16, 2012, 11:25:22 PM
Glazunov might have composed one of my favorite pieces ever:

http://www.youtube.com/v/MeSvmhWVwxg
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on September 17, 2012, 06:29:27 AM
Beethoven's Violin Concerto and Brahms' First Piano Concerto are among my least favorite works by anybody, ever.  :(

Hmmm. Very interesting, as I feel similarly. No wonder I always like and admire Brian (our Brian, not the composer that is). I have always felt that the Violin Concerto is one of Beethoven's few complete failures in a large form, its first movement an abortive attempt to reconcile lyricism with sonata form (a problem he solved far better in the 4th piano concerto and elsewhere), followed by a banal set of variations and a dull rondo finale. As for the Brahms, it opens like a house on fire with one of the most magnificent themes ever, but its sprawling construction fails to maintain momentum. The rondo is perhaps the most successful movement, but I literally find myself unable to remember any part of the slow movement after I've heard it.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Papy Oli on September 17, 2012, 10:16:58 AM
Glazunov might have composed one of my favorite pieces ever:

http://www.youtube.com/v/MeSvmhWVwxg


This is superb. Thank you for posting that ! :D
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Luke on September 18, 2012, 01:37:20 AM
Hmmm. Very interesting, as I feel similarly. No wonder I always like and admire Brian (our Brian, not the composer that is). I have always felt that the Violin Concerto is one of Beethoven's few complete failures in a large form, its first movement an abortive attempt to reconcile lyricism with sonata form (a problem he solved far better in the 4th piano concerto and elsewhere), followed by a banal set of variations and a dull rondo finale. As for the Brahms, it opens like a house on fire with one of the most magnificent themes ever, but its sprawling construction fails to maintain momentum. The rondo is perhaps the most successful movement, but I literally find myself unable to remember any part of the slow movement after I've heard it.

Ah, but if the fact that it is unmemorable is held as evidence against a the quality of a piece, surely it falls down when someone else finds the same piece eminently memorable. Personally, the whole of the Brahms Piano Concerto 1 runs easily from start to finish in my head, second movement most certainly included (OTOH I can't do the same with many other pieces which I 'ought' to know like the back of my hand - they simply haven't imprinted themselves as deeply no matter how much I listen, but that is surely my fault, not theirs). I'm aware of issues that others point out when criticising this piece - that the second subject recapitulation is unconvincingly literal, for instance; that the B material of the rondo is weak - and on paper I can even agree with them (it is, TBH, a little embarrassing to see in the score quite how literal that second subject recap is after the tumult of the development).... but then in the event I simply don't feel any of these things when listening to the work. It just bowls me over.

Hello, Sfz, BTW - it's been a while! Hope you've been keeping well  :)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Madiel on September 18, 2012, 01:58:48 AM
This is superb. Thank you for posting that ! :D

Seconded. Was rather lovely.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on September 18, 2012, 02:55:00 AM
Seconded. Was rather lovely.

Just a note:  I don't subscribe to either of the blunt opinions I recently posted, which served both to comply with the thread, and to underscore a rhetorical point.

Just a further note:  Obviously, of any music which is the brunt of some person or other's dislike, we can find many fans.  Seems to me that troubling to exercise that utterly obvious point is at odds with the thread.  But, hey: knock yourselves out
; )
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Rinaldo on September 18, 2012, 01:52:29 PM
Here's a fresh one after a performance of Le Carnaval romain I've attended: Berlioz was a hack! >:D
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on September 18, 2012, 03:09:51 PM
Here's a fresh one after a performance of Le Carnaval romain I've attended: Berlioz was a hack! >:D

False.


Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: TheGSMoeller on September 18, 2012, 03:29:13 PM
Here's a fresh one after a performance of Le Carnaval romain I've attended: Berlioz was a hack! >:D

It's a shame, it sounds as if the performance you attended did not properly do justice to a thrilling Berlioz piece. I hope the rest of the concert was better performed.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Rinaldo on September 18, 2012, 03:43:49 PM
It's a shame, it sounds as if the performance you attended did not properly do justice to a thrilling Berlioz piece. I hope the rest of the concert was better performed.

Well, I do hope me & Hector might get along one day but I still haven't heard a note from him that wouldn't either bore me or make me shake my head in disapproval. Can't judge the performance but the concert concluded with a riveting blast through Ravel's La valse. It was the Czech radio symphony orchestra playing, lead by Sergey Smbatyan - a guy five years younger than me by the way and I'm 30.. maybe Berlioz requires a more mature conductor / listener?
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: TheGSMoeller on September 18, 2012, 03:49:10 PM
Well, I do hope me & Hector might get along one day but I still haven't heard a note from him that wouldn't either bore me or make me shake my head in disapproval. Can't judge the performance but the concert concluded with a riveting blast through Ravel's La valse. It was the Czech radio symphony orchestra playing, lead by Sergey Smbatyan - a guy five years younger than me by the way and I'm 30.. maybe Berlioz requires a more mature conductor / listener?

Damn those youngsters. It really hits hard when you start realizing you would be considered "old" in professional sports.

Does Symphonie Fantastique bore you? Or The Damnation of Faust?
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on September 18, 2012, 04:02:53 PM
Well, I do hope me & Hector might get along one day but I still haven't heard a note from him that wouldn't either bore me or make me shake my head in disapproval. Can't judge the performance but the concert concluded with a riveting blast through Ravel's La valse. It was the Czech radio symphony orchestra playing, lead by Sergey Smbatyan - a guy five years younger than me by the way and I'm 30.. maybe Berlioz requires a more mature conductor / listener?

Apparently this orchestra/conductor admired Berlioz enough to at least take a crack at him. Which I don't think they would've done had they considered Berlioz a hack.

Same goes for the legions of musicians who've been performing/recording his music for 150 years, I'd say.


Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Rinaldo on September 18, 2012, 04:20:19 PM
Same goes for the legions of musicians who've been performing/recording his music for 150 years, I'd say.

Hence my opinion being unpopular, although I've got some powerful allies on my side (Chopin & RVW)!
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on September 18, 2012, 04:28:51 PM
Hence my opinion being unpopular, although I've got some powerful allies on my side (Chopin & RVW)!

An opinion which claims Berlioz is a "hack" isn't opinion. And I've more allies on my side that you. So there.


Title: Re: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on September 18, 2012, 04:32:54 PM
Hence my opinion being unpopular, although I've got some powerful allies on my side (Chopin &amp; RVW)!

Specious reasoning. What shall we say? Brahms was a talentless bastard -- I've got Tchaikovsky as an ally.
Title: Re: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Rinaldo on September 18, 2012, 06:04:03 PM
Specious reasoning. What shall we say? Brahms was a talentless bastard -- I've got Tchaikovsky as an ally.

It wasn't meant to be reasoning at all. Sorry if I sounded THAT serious! But now that I've calmed down a little bit after the performance, I would call upon RVW for his take on Schoenberg: I don't hear what other people hear in his music but I blame myself.

So to alter my previous statement, Berlioz is a jolly good composer - I just don't like his music at all (and that still classifies as quite an unpopular opinion, right?).
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Madiel on September 18, 2012, 06:32:53 PM
An opinion which claims Berlioz is a "hack" isn't opinion.

Of course it is. 

PS Barely know a note of Berlioz, so can happily sit on the fence regarding his abilities.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on September 18, 2012, 07:46:34 PM
Of course it is.

Not in this universe. 


Quote
PS Barely know a note of Berlioz, so can happily sit on the fence regarding his abilities.

Well, when your eyes are eventually opened to the goodness of Berlioz come back and give us a helping hand! ;D



Title: Re: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Luke on September 19, 2012, 01:11:59 AM
It wasn't meant to be reasoning at all. Sorry if I sounded THAT serious! But now that I've calmed down a little bit after the performance, I would call upon RVW for his take on Schoenberg: I don't hear what other people hear in his music but I blame myself.

So to alter my previous statement, Berlioz is a jolly good composer - I just don't like his music at all (and that still classifies as quite an unpopular opinion, right?).

I only fell in love with Berlioz when I heard the right pieces (for me) and thereby gained a glimpse of what (for me) is the mental image/aesthetic with which he 'clicks' best (for me). Reading the autobiography helped too. I realised that (for me) Berlioz is not (e.g.) huge orchestras, cackling witches, or Faust. For me he is the South, he is Italy, he is warm air and breezes, he is throbbing, ardent Early Romanticism - even at his most macabre there's nothing of Late Romantic decay or nostalgia in his music, just freshness, love and (for me) more than is the case with any other composer there is fragrance in Berlioz, the Southerly smells of sea and pine and flowers... This reads oddly, I know. I am trying to give an idea of the intangible thoughts and associations which Berlioz conjures up for me.

Change the details, the nouns and the adjectives, and the same, I think, goes with any composer who one truly loves. You just have to find your way in.

Anyway, the key pieces of Berlioz, for me, all heavily fragrance-laden, are things like the central songs of the Nuits d'ete, the song in which Herod recounts his dream in L'enfance du Christ (the perfume here becomes a hallucinatory incense), the first movement of the Symphonie Fantastique (especially the introduction), and above all the Scene d'amour from Romeo and Juliet (the balcony scene, the atmosphere of the darkened garden almost tangible, perfumed, we hear carousing voices in the distance before an extended love-dialogue which quivers with emotion...). Berlioz thought the Scene d'amour was his best piece, and I agree with him.

I'd add that not all Berlioz takes me into this world - and the pieces that don't are the ones I like less, with the exception of the Symphonie Funebre, which is Northern, cold, grey, shrill - and utterly wonderful. But I'm very sure that there is a way into loving these other pieces - I just haven't found it yet.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Florestan on September 19, 2012, 01:16:42 AM
Thank you, Luke, for this one gem of a post. Your take on, and description of, Berlioz's music are wonderful.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: North Star on September 19, 2012, 01:26:44 AM
Thank you, Luke, for this one gem of a post. Your take on, and description of, Berlioz's music are wonderful.

+1. A great post, as always. Good to see you here.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on September 19, 2012, 01:27:12 AM
There goes Luke, raising the tone of the discourse again . . . .

Thanks for the post, fella!
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Luke on September 19, 2012, 01:58:21 AM
A pleasure (genuinely - how good it feels to have time to think through writing a post for once). Thank you, guys!
Title: Re: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Rinaldo on September 19, 2012, 09:10:32 AM
This reads oddly, I know.

Not at all. And it describes a very different Berlioz than I was reading about so far, which only bolsters my curiosity. Thank you!
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: eyeresist on September 19, 2012, 05:20:36 PM
Does Symphonie Fantastique bore you? Or The Damnation of Faust?

Yes.
Title: Re: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Mirror Image on September 19, 2012, 05:26:27 PM
I only fell in love with Berlioz when I heard the right pieces (for me) and thereby gained a glimpse of what (for me) is the mental image/aesthetic with which he 'clicks' best (for me). Reading the autobiography helped too. I realised that (for me) Berlioz is not (e.g.) huge orchestras, cackling witches, or Faust. For me he is the South, he is Italy, he is warm air and breezes, he is throbbing, ardent Early Romanticism - even at his most macabre there's nothing of Late Romantic decay or nostalgia in his music, just freshness, love and (for me) more than is the case with any other composer there is fragrance in Berlioz, the Southerly smells of sea and pine and flowers... This reads oddly, I know. I am trying to give an idea of the intangible thoughts and associations which Berlioz conjures up for me.

Change the details, the nouns and the adjectives, and the same, I think, goes with any composer who one truly loves. You just have to find your way in.

Anyway, the key pieces of Berlioz, for me, all heavily fragrance-laden, are things like the central songs of the Nuits d'ete, the song in which Herod recounts his dream in L'enfance du Christ (the perfume here becomes a hallucinatory incense), the first movement of the Symphonie Fantastique (especially the introduction), and above all the Scene d'amour from Romeo and Juliet (the balcony scene, the atmosphere of the darkened garden almost tangible, perfumed, we hear carousing voices in the distance before an extended love-dialogue which quivers with emotion...). Berlioz thought the Scene d'amour was his best piece, and I agree with him.

I'd add that not all Berlioz takes me into this world - and the pieces that don't are the ones I like less, with the exception of the Symphonie Funebre, which is Northern, cold, grey, shrill - and utterly wonderful. But I'm very sure that there is a way into loving these other pieces - I just haven't found it yet.

And suddenly, I feel the need to listen Berlioz. :) Great post, Luke. Well expressed.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: TheGSMoeller on September 19, 2012, 05:32:35 PM
Yes.

(http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRVH3ILaCRtNMnSPebnzo_re7GFr63Ul7LfHi60c4nOrrWTRvw3)

I'm crushing your head.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Mirror Image on September 19, 2012, 05:51:46 PM
(http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRVH3ILaCRtNMnSPebnzo_re7GFr63Ul7LfHi60c4nOrrWTRvw3)

I'm crushing your head.

Love that Kids in the Hall sketch. :)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Madiel on September 19, 2012, 06:39:11 PM
Not in this universe. 

Clearly, either every dictionary I can lay my hands on that has a definition of the word "opinion" has dropped through a wormhole, or this board is accessible in other dimensions.  Either way, the theoretical physicists will be thrilled.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on September 19, 2012, 07:36:11 PM
Clearly, either every dictionary I can lay my hands on that has a definition of the word "opinion" has dropped through a wormhole, or this board is accessible in other dimensions.  Either way, the theoretical physicists will be thrilled.

Dude, is it really necessary to spell it out for you as if this were kindergarden?



Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Mirror Image on September 19, 2012, 08:09:24 PM
It doesn't matter to me if somebody doesn't like a composer I enjoy. I've learned to quit fighting it and just accept that their music isn't for them. Sometimes it takes months and even years to understand and appreciate a composer. That said, while I did express my dislike for Mozart and Beethoven, I could never talk bad about my favorite Classical Era composer: JOSEPH HAYDN (AKA The Grand Master).
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Est.1965 on September 19, 2012, 08:54:29 PM
Clearly, either every dictionary I can lay my hands on that has a definition of the word "opinion" has dropped through a wormhole, or this board is accessible in other dimensions.  Either way, the theoretical physicists will be thrilled.

NASA have already got their hands on it and are going to send it on the next mars mission.   :P
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on September 19, 2012, 09:15:55 PM
It doesn't matter to me if somebody doesn't like a composer I enjoy. I've learned to quit fighting it and just accept that their music isn't for them.

I feel exactly the same way. I don't give a hang about anyone else's preferences. But sometimes just the wrong phrase will push my buttons and I can't help but sound off.

I have my own list of composers/musicians who do zero for me but I'm just not interested in making a scene about it. Maybe I should...

Anyway, the poster with whom I had issue with has already cleared the air and I appreciated it (even though I didn't comment on it).

But now it seems a ghost poster has arrived to unearth the argument once again (oops, no punning intended). Oh, well...


Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Mirror Image on September 19, 2012, 09:20:16 PM
I feel exactly the same way. I don't give a hang about anyone else's preferences. But sometimes just the wrong phrase will push my buttons and I can't help but sound off.

I have my own list of composers/musicians who do zero for me but I'm just not interested in making a scene about it. Maybe I should...

Anyway, the poster with whom I had issue with has already cleared the air and I appreciated it (even though I didn't comment on it).

But now it seems a ghost poster has arrived to unearth the argument once again (oops, no punning intended). Oh, well...

Once one hears Durufle's Requiem all opinions, cares, worries all melt away as you're transported to another time and place. This is what I like to do when there's a poster who just annoys the living crap out of me. :)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on September 19, 2012, 09:59:16 PM
Once one hears Durufle's Requiem all opinions, cares, worries all melt away as you're transported to another time and place. This is what I like to do when there's a poster who just annoys the living crap out of me. :)

I like!



Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on September 20, 2012, 03:02:02 AM
And once you've heard a Pettersson symphony -- how bad could any other piece of music be, really?

(j/k)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Sergeant Rock on September 20, 2012, 04:30:20 AM
I only like four fifths of the Symphonie fantastique. The central Scène aux champs puts me to sleep. Heard live, at a concert, it actually becomes a trial. The clock stands still. Since the music's program is meant to depict a narcotic-induced sleep, maybe it's doing exactly what it's supposed to be doing. Works that way for me anyway  ;D


Sarge
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Florestan on September 20, 2012, 04:44:24 AM
And once you've heard a Pettersson symphony -- how bad could any other piece of music be, really?

(j/k)

Ouch! That would've hurt Sara (Lethe) no end...
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Florestan on September 20, 2012, 04:46:07 AM
I only like four fifths of the Symphonie fantastique. The central Scène aux champs puts me to sleep. Heard live, at a concert, it actually becomes a trial. The clock stands still. Since the music's program is meant to depict a narcotic-induced sleep, maybe it's doing exactly what it's supposed to be doing. Works that way for me anyway  ;D

Say whaaaat? The oboe and the flute at the end... the timpani roll... that's pure bliss. I do hope Mrs. Rock doesn't share in this blasphemy.  ;D
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on September 20, 2012, 04:46:49 AM
I only like four fifths of the Symphonie fantastique. The central Scène aux champs puts me to sleep. Heard live, at a concert, it actually becomes a trial. The clock stands still. Since the music's program is meant to depict a narcotic-induced sleep, maybe it's doing exactly what it's supposed to be doing. Works that way for me anyway  ;D


Sarge

That's not far from where my ears where (viz. that movement) 30 years ago, Sarge!
 
It was the most dramatic of the reversals, when I first heard the Norrington recording.  As ever, YMMV.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Florestan on September 20, 2012, 05:13:32 AM
That's not far from where my ears where (viz. that movement) 30 years ago, Sarge!
 
It was the most dramatic of the reversals, when I first heard the Norrington recording.  As ever, YMMV.

Hah! Snorrington making someone wake up... now that's as unpopular as it gets...  :D :D :D
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Sergeant Rock on September 20, 2012, 05:26:10 AM
Say whaaaat? The oboe and the flute at the end... the timpani roll... that's pure bliss.

I guess I'm just not a pastoral kind of guy  ;D

I do hope Mrs. Rock doesn't share in this blasphemy.  ;D

My opinion is unpopular in the Rock household too.

Hah! Snorrington making someone wake up... now that's as unpopular as it gets...  :D :D :D

It is. Norrington's LCP performance is my fave Fantastique. When I ventured into the Symphonie fantastique thread a few years ago, professing that opinion, I came under heavy fire, especially from O Mensch. Forget a woman scorned: Hell hath no fury like a Mensch dismissing Norrington :D  I had to make a quick tactical retreat in order to fight another day.

Sarge
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: DavidRoss on September 20, 2012, 05:30:50 AM
Hah! Snorrington making someone wake up... now that's as unpopular as it gets...  :D :D :D
;D

It was the most dramatic of the reversals, when I first heard the Norrington recording.  As ever, YMMV.
Does that mean you liked Norrington? After enjoying his Mahler 1st (much to my surprise), my mind's more open to his efforts. 

Is it the Stuttgart or London Classical disc that you and Sarge like so much?
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on September 20, 2012, 05:31:53 AM
Does that mean you liked Norrington?

Oui . . . although it is many years since last I heard this 'un.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Sergeant Rock on September 20, 2012, 05:32:16 AM
It was the most dramatic of the reversals, when I first heard the Norrington recording.  As ever, YMMV.

Norrington is the version that makes me the least drowsy. It helps that he lops off about three minutes compared to the usual timing. But even when listening to him, I usually skip the Scène and dive right into his marvelous Marche au supplice, his ponderous pace just perfect. (I can't stand fast marches; no one skips or sprints to the scaffold.)

Sarge
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: AndyD. on September 20, 2012, 05:39:36 AM
I could never talk bad about my favorite Classical Era composer: JOSEPH HAYDN (AKA The Grand Master).

He's my favorite too, and I prefer him over the early Beethoven. But mid to late...no. To me mid LvB was more often than not proto-Romantic, and it's hard for me to label the late era. It was beyond categorization imo.

The Gods:  J.S. Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Wagner, Lennon and McCartney, Tony Iommi.

Demi-Gods: Vivaldi, Monteverdi, Schubert, Schumann, Verdi, Bartok, Schoenberg, Shostakovich, Puccini, Rossini, Weber, Sibelius, Tchaikovsky, Uli Jon Roth, Berlioz, Pete Townshend, Berlioz, Mendellsohn, Bruckner, Mahler, Richard Strauss, Chopin, Rachmaninoff.

Liszt is in between God and Demi-God.

Oh, the hate due.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Florestan on September 20, 2012, 05:41:39 AM
Speaking of which: Marche au supplice is, to my ears, one of the jolliest and most triumphant music ever written. If it weren't for the program I'd never guessed it was about a beheading.  ;D (question for native English speakers: is the last sentence correct in respect to time concordance?)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Florestan on September 20, 2012, 05:42:46 AM
Tony Iommi.

Tony who?  ;D
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: AndyD. on September 20, 2012, 05:45:16 AM
Tony who?  ;D

Guitarist and main composer for Black Sabbath. Massively influential, any Rock you hear today that's harder than, say, R.E.M. or Adele is influenced, whether directly or indirectly, by Sabbath.

Still awaiting the venomous dissension.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: AndyD. on September 20, 2012, 05:46:29 AM
Waittasecond... you knew Florestan  ;)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: DavidRoss on September 20, 2012, 05:49:13 AM
Speaking of which: Marche au supplice is, to my ears, one of the jolliest and most triumphant music ever written. If it weren't for the program I'd never guessed it was about a beheading.  ;D (question for native English speakers: is the last sentence correct in respect to time concordance?)
I'd never have guessed ;)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: DavidRoss on September 20, 2012, 05:50:18 AM
Still awaiting the venomous dissension.
I don't see Hendrix in your list. Or Stevie Ray.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Florestan on September 20, 2012, 05:50:47 AM
Guitarist and main composer for Black Sabbath.

My, my... back in my twenties I used to like Black Sabbath but never knew the name of its members. Shame on me then...

BTW, here's an unpopular one: he who doesn't like hard rock and heavy metal until 30 has no taste; he who still likes them after 30 has no taste either.  ;D

Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Florestan on September 20, 2012, 05:51:24 AM
I'd never have guessed ;)

Thank you.
Title: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: TheGSMoeller on September 20, 2012, 05:53:47 AM
Norrington is the version that makes me the least drowsy. It helps that he lops off about three minutes compared to the usual timing. But even when listening to him, I usually skip the Scène and dive right into his marvelous Marche au supplice, his ponderous pace just perfect. (I can't stand fast marches; no one skips or sprints to the scaffold.)

Sarge

The remedy is this Solti recording with CSO, not the best overall, but the most exciting and frightening, the brass is insane, a sub-woofer is highly recommended.

(http://img.tapatalk.com/d/12/09/20/by2umeqa.jpg)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Est.1965 on September 20, 2012, 05:56:04 AM
Speaking of which: Marche au supplice is, to my ears, one of the jolliest and most triumphant music ever written. If it weren't for the program I'd never guessed it was about a beheading.

Yes, there are unusual pieces that do that - in Rossinis Stabat Mater, the 'Cujus Animam Gementem' is usually sung with considerable gusto and liveliness by the tenor - I love it, but it seems in inappropriate soundworld for the sorrowful standing mother.

Quote
(question for native English speakers: is the last sentence correct in respect to time concordance?)

As a qualified English language teacher, I can exclusively reveal to you that your 'time concordance' is...eh...I dunno, better ask Cato... :P
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: DavidRoss on September 20, 2012, 05:56:12 AM
BTW, here's an unpopular one: he who doesn't like hard rock and heavy metal until 30 19 has no taste; he who still likes them after 30 20 has no taste either.  ;D
Corrected for faulty time concordance ;)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Florestan on September 20, 2012, 05:56:49 AM
Waittasecond... you knew Florestan  ;)

Scout's honor I did not. Anyway, welcome back! Long time no see...  :)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Florestan on September 20, 2012, 05:58:24 AM
Corrected for faulty time concordance ;)

Hah! You do have a point but I tried to be tolerant...  ;D
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: DavidRoss on September 20, 2012, 06:18:30 AM
Hah! You do have a point but I tried to be tolerant...  ;D
Well, there are plenty of other things I don't get, either. No doubt Andy would thing it more than passing strange to see me rocking out to "Burning Down the House!"
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Mirror Image on September 20, 2012, 06:23:27 AM
And once you've heard a Pettersson symphony -- how bad could any other piece of music be, really?

(j/k)

 :P
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on September 20, 2012, 06:24:34 AM
Well, there are plenty of other things I don't get, either. No doubt Andy would thing it more than passing strange to see me rocking out to "Burning Down the House!"

Oh, I don't think he'd bat a mascaraed eye! Not even if you boogied to "Willie the Pimp."
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Florestan on September 20, 2012, 06:26:41 AM
Well, there are plenty of other things I don't get, either. No doubt Andy would thing it more than passing strange to see me rocking out to "Burning Down the House!"

I was a heavy metal enthusiast up until 25 (with Metallica and Manowar being my faves). Since then I gradually lost any interest in this kind of music. I will turn 40 this December and it's been perhaps more than 10 years that I've not heard a single heavy metal tune.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: AndyD. on September 20, 2012, 06:28:22 AM
Well, there are plenty of other things I don't get, either. No doubt Andy would thing it more than passing strange to see me rocking out to "Burning Down the House!"


Actually, that's kinda cool.

I guess I don't have any taste then, Florestan. I'm proud to be both a fan and accomplished composer of heavy metal music, I offer no apologies whatsoever.

Heavy metal music is just as significant and valid a form of Art as any other. Flame away.


I was a heavy metal enthusiast up until 25 (with Metallica and Manowar being my faves). Since then I gradually lost any interest in this kind of music. I will turn 40 this December and it's been perhaps more than 10 years that I've not heard a single heavy metal tune.

You're really missing out.

Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Rinaldo on September 20, 2012, 06:30:02 AM
Well, there are plenty of other things I don't get, either. No doubt Andy would thing it more than passing strange to see me rocking out to "Burning Down the House!"

Anyone NOT rocking out to Talking Heads is.. strange!
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Florestan on September 20, 2012, 06:34:09 AM
I guess I don't have any taste then, Florestan. I'm proud to be both a fan and accomplished composer of heavy metal music, I offer no apologies whatsoever.

Hey, Andy!... I was just joking and pushing some buttons. You don't have to take me that seriously.  :D

Quote
Heavy metal music is just as significant and valid a form of Art as any other.

No argument from me whatsoever.  0:)

Quote
You're really missing out.

Perhaps. But non omnia possumus omnes (as a Catholic you surely know what I mean, don't you?)  :D
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: AndyD. on September 20, 2012, 06:36:56 AM
Hey, Andy!... I was just joking and pushing some buttons. You don't have to take me that seriously.  :D

No argument from me whatsoever.  0:)

Perhaps. But non omnia possumus omnes (as a Catholic you surely know what I mean, don't you?)  :D


I had a feeling you were picking on me you rascal :P. And yes I know what you mean my friend :).
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Florestan on September 20, 2012, 06:39:17 AM
I had a feeling you were picking on me you rascal :P. And yes I know what you mean my friend :).

 0:)

Please point me to a contemporary heavy metal band that could rekindle my passion for the genre. I'd be more than willing to hear them.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on September 20, 2012, 06:44:05 AM
Anyone NOT rocking out to Talking Heads is.. strange!

Everybody, get in line!
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: AndyD. on September 20, 2012, 06:45:09 AM
0:)

Please point me to a contemporary heavy metal band that could rekindle my passion for the genre. I'd be more than willing to hear them.

Lyraka! ;)

Just kiddin'. If you liked early Metallica, the latest Testament "Dark Roots of the Earth" might be right up your alley. Manowar's last cool album was Gods of War, there's some irritating narration, but if you like some Wagner with your Manowar you're in for a treat.

More contemporary...boy that's tough, because Metal has become more extreme. Many of the bands I could reccomend you might be a little too heavy, though if you have an open mind and can deal with extreme vocals you can't go wrong with Nile "In Their Darkened Shrines".

For Progressive Heavy-ish Rock with killer guitar, you want Uli Jon Roth's "Metamorphosis of Vivaldi's Four Seasons" or even better his latest masterpiece, "Under a Dark Sky".
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Sergeant Rock on September 20, 2012, 06:46:05 AM
Perhaps. But non omnia possumus omnes (as a Catholic you surely know what I mean, don't you?)  :D

Does it mean, No ominous possums in this home?  I believe that's the Catholic blessing delivered after a house is exorcised. Thank god for high school Latin  ;D

Sarge
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: AndyD. on September 20, 2012, 06:47:42 AM
Does it mean, No ominous possums in this home?  Thank god for high school Latin  ;D

Sarge


In her Gothic phase, Jasmine would have quite welcomed ominous possums. Both cute and forboding...
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Mirror Image on September 20, 2012, 07:12:11 AM
The remedy is this Solti recording with CSO, not the best overall, but the most exciting and frightening, the brass is insane, a sub-woofer is highly recommended.

(http://img.tapatalk.com/d/12/09/20/by2umeqa.jpg)

What a horrible looking cover! That should go to the worst LP/CD thread!
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Sergeant Rock on September 20, 2012, 07:18:42 AM
The remedy is this Solti recording with CSO, not the best overall, but the most exciting and frightening, the brass is insane, a sub-woofer is highly recommended.

(http://img.tapatalk.com/d/12/09/20/by2umeqa.jpg)

Do you mean Solti could make me appreciate the Scène aux champs?

Sarge
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Florestan on September 20, 2012, 07:19:06 AM
Lyraka! ;)

Just kiddin'. If you liked early Metallica, the latest Testament "Dark Roots of the Earth" might be right up your alley. Manowar's last cool album was Gods of War, there's some irritating narration, but if you like some Wagner with your Manowar you're in for a treat.

More contemporary...boy that's tough, because Metal has become more extreme. Many of the bands I could reccomend you might be a little too heavy, though if you have an open mind and can deal with extreme vocals you can't go wrong with Nile "In Their Darkened Shrines".

For Progressive Heavy-ish Rock with killer guitar, you want Uli Jon Roth's "Metamorphosis of Vivaldi's Four Seasons" or even better his latest masterpiece, "Under a Dark Sky".
Thanks. Will explore.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Sergeant Rock on September 20, 2012, 07:22:36 AM

In her Gothic phase, Jasmine would have quite welcomed ominous possums. Both cute and forboding...

Reminds me of a recently seen TV show--an episode of Bones probably...or True Blood--in which a cute young woman was holding and petting a possum. Weird  :D


Sarge
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: TheGSMoeller on September 20, 2012, 07:22:48 AM
What a horrible looking cover! That should go to the worst LP/CD thread!

It was back in the 8-bit days.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Mirror Image on September 20, 2012, 08:07:55 AM
It was back in the 8-bit days.

:D
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: DavidRoss on September 20, 2012, 08:14:52 AM
No ominous possums in this home
I'll have a bronze plaque made and hang it beside the front door.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: AndyD. on September 20, 2012, 08:25:53 AM
So...the idea of a zombie possum would be posthumous ominous?


BWA-HA


sorry!
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: TheGSMoeller on September 20, 2012, 08:27:38 AM
Do you mean Solti could make me appreciate the Scène aux champs?

Sarge

Well, maybe, I should have specified it's more for the whole piece. Certainly not much insane brass parts in champs, but the added intensity of the surrounding movements could make one appreciate the calm of champs a little more.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Sergeant Rock on September 20, 2012, 09:46:43 AM
Well, maybe, I should have specified it's more for the whole piece. Certainly not much insane brass parts in champs, but the added intensity of the surrounding movements could make one appreciate the calm of champs a little more.

Thanks for clarifying. I was a bit confused...and maybe hoping a little that Solti had somehow, magically, turned that hazy pastoral into something "exciting and frightening" with insane brass  ;D

Sarge
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: TheGSMoeller on September 20, 2012, 10:21:42 AM
Thanks for clarifying. I was a bit confused...and maybe hoping a little that Solti had somehow, magically, turned that hazy pastoral into something "exciting and frightening" with insane brass  ;D

Sarge

Haha! Solti transcribed the entire third movement for two full brass ensembles, both on stage, and then one off-stage. Oh, and don't forget the 12 timpanists, scattered throughout the audience.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: North Star on September 20, 2012, 11:45:40 AM
0:)

Please point me to a contemporary heavy metal band that could rekindle my passion for the genre. I'd be more than willing to hear them.

I turned 20 some time ago, so haven't been listening to heavy metal lately  :P
Anyway - for prog metal, Opeth is very nice (although I don't know whether you can stand growling or not - not all of Opeth has it, and it's decreased in their more recent albums, IIRC)
Here's the bands vocalist/guitarist/composer Mikael Åkerfeldt and Porcupine Tree's (prog rock) Steven Wilson's project Storm Corrosion:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=manW5v-AR7U
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: DavidRoss on September 20, 2012, 12:09:51 PM
So...the idea of a zombie possum would be posthumous ominous?
BWA-HA
;D Now you're hanging upside down by your tail from MNDave's tree!
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: eyeresist on September 20, 2012, 04:54:42 PM
Hah! Snorrington making someone wake up... now that's as unpopular as it gets...  :D :D :D

From what I'm heard of it, Norrington's Berlioz is terrific - such a shame I still don't like Berlioz :D


Re Metal, I would say prog is not the solution, it's the problem. There's another unpopular opinion for ya.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Madiel on September 20, 2012, 06:44:28 PM
Dude, is it really necessary to spell it out for you as if this were kindergarden?

Yes.  Is it really necessary for you to say that an opinion you disagree with isn't just wrong, but not an opinion? That was just a completely absurd tack to take.  And you kept taking it even when challenged, for which you deserve all the sarcastic derision about wormholes you received.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: mc ukrneal on September 20, 2012, 08:15:55 PM
Thanks for clarifying. I was a bit confused...and maybe hoping a little that Solti had somehow, magically, turned that hazy pastoral into something "exciting and frightening" with insane brass  ;D

Sarge
There are two versions that may be of interest to you. I have not heard either one (but maybe soemeone here has). Both are often associated with the terms 'hot', 'molten', 'fiery', or something similar. They are Stokowski and Rozhdestvensky (Live Proms recording).
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on September 20, 2012, 08:44:33 PM
Yes.  Is it really necessary for you to say that an opinion you disagree with isn't just wrong, but not an opinion? That was just a completely absurd tack to take.  And you kept taking it even when challenged, for which you deserve all the sarcastic derision about wormholes you received.

Sarcasm you say?

Anyhoo...what it amounts to is this:

I don't care what anyone thinks about Berlioz. Period. You can hate him, love him, lukewarm him, whatever.

But to call him a "hack" in the face of overwhelming evidence that he is NOT a hack is ignorant (no offense ;D). And just what evidence is that, you say?

A) A look at the number of musicians who endorse his music by performing it.

B) A look at the number of musicians who endorse his music by recording it.

C) The sum of A) and B) equals a long history of performing and recording by some of the biggest and brightest names in the
    classical biz.

D) His music shows no sign of losing its steam. In fact, the HIP movement thinks highly enough of his music to dig into it with
    enthusiasm.

E) Musicians aside, the market for Berlioz is such that since the inception of his music it's been popular enough that the listening
    public buys it. Either by collecting recordings or attending concerts.

F) And so on and so on....

Nothing about the above spells "hack". THAT'S what I objected to.

Like I said, the poster with whom I had issue with has already cleared the air (much appreciated). What exactly do you gain by continuing on with HIS argument that's already been resolved?!??


Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Madiel on September 20, 2012, 11:36:21 PM
Sure, okay, so it's an ignorant opinion. That's still an opinion.  If you go back and look, you will see that I didn't comment on your objection to "hack" (which I understood perfectly well the first time), I commented on your statement that an opinion wasn't an opinion.  THAT'S what I objected to.

And this is a message board.  If you don't want other people to contribute, use a private messaging system.

What I gain is the wild hope that the English language will continue to mean what it's generally accepted to mean, enabling communication to work in the future.  If I unilaterally decided that the word "bananas" referred to something the rest of the world called "oranges", you seem to be suggesting that everyone should just go along with my quirk and not query it.

If I started saying that trios should be called quartets, quartets should be called symphonies and symphonies should be called flerzigigs, and began posting across the forum accordingly, the reaction would be quite fascinating but I doubt very much that all the posters would just go "oh, he didn't say that to me personally so let's not get involved". Not least because every single new member would have to be taken aside to have all my bizarre posts about quartets, symphonies and flerzigigs decoded for them.

A message board is for the purpose of communication.  Communication is not furthered by randomly changing the accepted meaning of words when you feel like it.

Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on September 21, 2012, 01:22:43 AM
Sure, okay, so it's an ignorant opinion.

Thank you for conceding the point. Ignorant Opinions are over there, in the Pathos File.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: DavidW on September 21, 2012, 02:17:20 AM
Hey this is a thread for posting unpopular opinions without getting the beat down.  Let's stop giving Orfeo a hard time.

Please.

 :)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Madiel on September 21, 2012, 02:36:34 AM
Thank you for conceding the point.

Never argued that point to begin with!

EDIT: Look, as much as people seem to be enjoying this conversation so much  ::) could you all go back to read page 30, see what it actually says at the point I became involved re Berlioz and then come back? Ta.

Maybe then we could move on to discussing how bloody boring Philip Glass is, or something.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Mirror Image on September 21, 2012, 02:46:42 AM
Never argued that point to begin with!

EDIT: Look, as much as people seem to be enjoying this conversation so much  ::) could you all go back to read page 30, see what it actually says at the point I became involved re Berlioz and then come back? Ta.

Maybe then we could move on to discussing how bloody boring Philip Glass is, or something.

I read what you said and you never called Berlioz a hack. That was an opinion offered by another member. Philip Glass is a bore. Yes, no doubt about it. :D
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: TheGSMoeller on September 21, 2012, 02:51:15 AM
Maybe then we could move on to discussing how bloody boring Philip Glass is, or something.

How dare you, how dare you, how dare you, how dare you say that, how dare you say that,
The man, the man, the man is a, the man is a, the man is a genius, the man is a genius,
How dare you, how dare you, how dare you say that, how dare you say that.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Madiel on September 21, 2012, 02:52:45 AM
Glass in prose. VERY nice!  ;D

Walked into the classical section of a Sydney music shop once, and they were playing Einstein on the Beach quite loudly over the speakers.  It was a serious turn-off. I tried to flick through the racks for items of interest, but I gave up.  It was exactly like how they use light classical music to drive teenage hooligans away from bus and train stations, but shops aren't usually intending to drive away prospective customers.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Mirror Image on September 21, 2012, 02:53:51 AM
How dare you, how dare you, how dare you, how dare you say that, how dare you say that,
The man, the man, the man is a, the man is a, the man is a genius, the man is a genius,
How dare you, how dare you, how dare you say that, how dare you say that.

Greg, you, Greg, you, Greg, you are, Greg, you are, Greg, you are crazy. :P
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Mirror Image on September 21, 2012, 03:03:20 AM
I'm surprised some haven't ripped some of my favorite composers yet. Like Tippett for example. He seems to be the "anti-composer" according to some journalists ::).
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: PaulR on September 21, 2012, 04:00:39 AM
I'm surprised some haven't ripped some of my favorite composers yet. Like Tippett for example. He seems to be the "anti-composer" according to some journalists ::).
Well, the thread is about unpopular opinions.  Not "opinions that are shared by many no matter how incorrect."   0:)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: CaughtintheGaze on September 21, 2012, 04:03:35 AM
Hey this is a thread for posting unpopular opinions without getting the beat down.  Let's stop giving Orfeo a hard time.

Mouth breathing. You've been here long enough to know this David.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: CaughtintheGaze on September 21, 2012, 04:04:52 AM
How dare you, how dare you, how dare you, how dare you say that, how dare you say that,
The man, the man, the man is a, the man is a, the man is a genius, the man is a genius,
How dare you, how dare you, how dare you say that, how dare you say that.

For anyone who says that Glass is a bore, I'd ask them what they've actually heard of his. Sames goes for Adams, who sometimes gets lumped in with him.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Madiel on September 21, 2012, 04:20:07 AM
For anyone who says that Glass is a bore, I'd ask them what they've actually heard of his. Sames goes for Adams, who sometimes gets lumped in with him.

You won't find me doing any lumping.  I've not heard huge amounts of either of them, but Adams was interesting and Glass wasn't.

I've already mentioned involuntarily sampling Einstein on the Beach, but apart from that I wasn't exactly eager to note down precisely what I was hearing when encountering Mr. Glass.  Let's see... consulting Wikipedia list of compositions... I can definitely tell you I've heard at least 4 of the film scores and excerpts from another.  I know I've heard at least one or two other things, but heck, even the names aren't memorable.  I mean, Music in Fifths, Music in Similar Motion, Music in Twelve Parts?  Evocative!

What else do you suggest I subject myself to?
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Gurn Blanston on September 21, 2012, 04:24:05 AM
Well, the thread is about unpopular opinions.  Not "opinions that are shared by many no matter how incorrect."   0:)

You put the lie to your sidebar note, Dude... :D

8)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: CaughtintheGaze on September 21, 2012, 04:24:52 AM
What else do you suggest I subject myself to?

I'd recommend any of his solo keyboard works, and also his symphonies. To be more specific: Symphony No. 8 and Metamorphosis and Etudes for solo keyboard.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: AndyD. on September 21, 2012, 04:27:36 AM
I'm shocked more people didn't come down on me about Tony Iommi. Less shocked as to Uli Jon Roth.

I should have mentioned George Clinton (Funkadelic) amongst the demi-gods.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Sergeant Rock on September 21, 2012, 04:31:13 AM
What else do you suggest I subject myself to?

I'm not a Glass fan either, but this is an attractive concerto:

(http://photos.imageevent.com/sgtrock/gm2/GlSchDoh.jpg)


Sarge
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Sergeant Rock on September 21, 2012, 04:32:12 AM
I should have mentioned George Clinton (Funkadelic) amongst the demi-gods.

Nope. Still doesn't raise hackles. You'll just have to try harder, Andy  ;D


Sarge
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: DavidRoss on September 21, 2012, 04:45:07 AM
What else do you suggest I subject myself to?

http://www.youtube.com/v/Ku6KTsr86bg
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Madiel on September 21, 2012, 04:50:29 AM
http://www.youtube.com/v/Ku6KTsr86bg

It sounds like a Vivaldi concerto with most of the tunes and cadences taken out.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: CaughtintheGaze on September 21, 2012, 04:51:42 AM
It sounds like a Vivaldi concerto with most of the tunes and cadences taken out.

You're a mighty quick judge.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Madiel on September 21, 2012, 04:52:56 AM
I'd recommend any of his solo keyboard works, and also his symphonies. To be more specific: Symphony No. 8 and Metamorphosis and Etudes for solo keyboard.

I figured out that Metamorphosis is one of the other things I've already heard.  :-X
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Madiel on September 21, 2012, 04:54:05 AM
You're a mighty quick judge.

Of the impression a piece of music gives me?  Why not?

It might take me a long, long time to delve into a piece of music that interest me (hello, Vagn Holmboe), but it doesn't take me that long to tell whether or not it interests me.  And there simply isn't enough time in the world to investigate all the classical composers and pop musicians that DO interest me, never mind the massively larger number of ones that DON'T.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: CaughtintheGaze on September 21, 2012, 04:54:38 AM
I figured out that Metamorphosis is one of the other things I've already heard.  :-X

And if your post about the Violin Concerto is any clue, you probably listened to it but once, and judged it not to your liking. In a quick manner, of course.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Madiel on September 21, 2012, 04:57:51 AM
And if your post about the Violin Concerto is any clue, you probably listened to it but once, and judged it not to your liking. In a quick manner, of course.

I'll set you up with my Tori Amos collection. Promise to listen to each album at least 5 times before commenting.   See you in October.

EDIT: What possible purpose is there in repeatedly listening to something that didn't spark my interest the first time?  I'm not a music reviewer.  It's not my job to objectively assess Glass' work for your edification.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: CaughtintheGaze on September 21, 2012, 04:59:33 AM
I'll set you up with my Tori Amos collection. Promise to listen to each album at least 5 times before commenting.   See you in October.

Already love Tori Amos, so that would be quite a pleasure for me to sit through. Also, I don't care whether or not you like or dislike something, rather it simply demonstrates your unwillingness to let something sit before sitting in judgment of it. I'd wager that not even someone engorged in classical music, like Karl, could have settled into a judgment so swiftly.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Madiel on September 21, 2012, 05:03:40 AM
Already love Tori Amos, so that would be quite a pleasure for me to sit through. Also, I don't care whether or not you like or dislike something, rather it simply demonstrates your unwillingness to let something sit before sitting in judgment of it. I'd wager that not even someone engorged in classical music, like Karl, could have settled into a judgment so swiftly.

No, you are not asking me for my opinion about individual pieces.  You are asking me for my opinion ABOUT A COMPOSER.  I have heard at least a dozen different Glass pieces. At least.  NONE of them have made me think "oh hang on, there's something there that interests me".

That's all I'm looking for. The spark of interest.  And it simply isn't there.  The judgment is that there's no need to add Glass to the list of composers I'm interested in exploring.  Given how HUGE the list already is, I make absolutely no apology, none whatsoever, for repeating: I have heard Glass, quite a few times, and Glass doesn't interest me.  NOT "I have heard Glass' violin concerto, and Glass' violin concerto doesn't interest me".  That simply isn't how I operate.  If we're going to list interests, it's going to be composers, not composers' individual works.  If we're going to list likes/loves, THEN I'll talk about individual compositions.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: PaulR on September 21, 2012, 05:04:04 AM
I'll set you up with my Tori Amos collection. Promise to listen to each album at least 5 times before commenting.   See you in October.

EDIT: What possible purpose is there in repeatedly listening to something that didn't spark my interest the first time?  I'm not a music reviewer.  It's not my job to objectively assess Glass' work for your edification.
You don't think.........it's kind of backwards to think "if something doesn't interest me the first time, why listen to it again"?  A second time through might reveal something that you didn't notice the first time through.  Similar to a 3rd time, 4th time.  You are missing a lot of great music if you only go by the first impression.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: CaughtintheGaze on September 21, 2012, 05:05:28 AM
No, you are not asking me for my opinion about individual pieces.  You are asking me for my opinion ABOUT A COMPOSER.  I have heard at least a dozen different Glass pieces. At least.  NONE of them have made me think "oh hang on, there's something there that interests me".

I haven't asked for your opinion on anything.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: CaughtintheGaze on September 21, 2012, 05:07:58 AM
You don't think.........it's kind of backwards to think "if something doesn't interest me the first time, why listen to it again"?  A second time through might reveal something that you didn't notice the first time through.  Similar to a 3rd time, 4th time.  You are missing a lot of great music if you only go by the first impression.

Indeed. It's why I still try and listen to Mozart's Symphonies, even though they have yet to do it for me yet.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Madiel on September 21, 2012, 05:09:00 AM
You don't think.........it's kind of backwards to think "if something doesn't interest me the first time, why listen to it again"?  A second time through might reveal something that you didn't notice the first time through.  Similar to a 3rd time, 4th time.  You are missing a lot of great music if you only go by the first impression.

See above. I do NOT go by the first impression of composers.  Hearing samples of an individual work of a composer is simply a means, for me, of sampling a composer.

Any composer I am interested in, their individual works will get multiple listens.  If that wasn't the case, I most certainly would not have bought the big batch of Holmboe I just bought, because the vast majority of his works have not revealed their secrets on first listen.

In fact, I wouldn't have bought most of Tori Amos' albums - the musician I am most obsessed with!  Of her 12 main albums I would say I probably only found 2 or 3 instantly appealing.  I found several of them utterly bewildering, including the one I would now rate as the very finest.  So please don't get this notion that I "go by first impressions".  Before any composer or pop artist gets into my collection, they have been sampled and considered a very large number of times, and once they're in, I continue to look for the rewards from their work.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Madiel on September 21, 2012, 05:10:59 AM
I haven't asked for your opinion on anything.

No. You just asked what I, and others like me, had heard of Glass.  And now you're just going to tell me I'm listening to it wrong.

I did listen to Metamorphosis quite a few times, for the record, as it was on a CD that was lent to me.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: CaughtintheGaze on September 21, 2012, 05:12:34 AM
And now you're just going to tell me I'm listening to it wrong.

That's not what I said at all.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: DavidRoss on September 21, 2012, 05:13:22 AM
And if your post about the Violin Concerto is any clue, you probably listened to it but once, and judged it not to your liking. In a quick manner, of course.
Evaluating a 25-minute-long concerto from, what, 30 seconds of hearing? ...with a mind already prejudiced against it?  Shades of Paul Best! (You don't happen to think Beethoven was a hack, do you?) ;)

But thank you for being so candid. I always appreciate it when folks are so upfront about letting us know the worth of their opinions -- popular or not! (BTW, dismissing Glass as a bore is a very popular pastime.)

Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: PaulR on September 21, 2012, 05:14:01 AM
Indeed. It's why I still try and listen to Mozart's Symphonies, even though they have yet to do it for me yet.
Oh, you only need to listen to 39, 40, and 41.  POSSIBLY 25   8)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: CaughtintheGaze on September 21, 2012, 05:15:15 AM
Oh, you only need to listen to 39, 40, and 41.  POSSIBLY 25   8)

Already tried and done, multiple times by different orchestras and different conductors. It just hasn't clicked for me yet, but I'll keep on trying. I know I'll find that one that will unlock the door.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: DavidRoss on September 21, 2012, 05:15:45 AM
That's not what I said at all.
Of course it's not. But if you look carefully, you'll note that he didn't suggest you had said it, but rather that you would say it in the future. Rather consistent, wouldn't you say?
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Madiel on September 21, 2012, 05:16:40 AM
And if your post about the Violin Concerto is any clue, you probably listened to it but once, and judged it not to your liking. In a quick manner, of course.

So this WASN'T criticising my method of listening?

Okay then.

Evaluating a 25-minute-long concerto from, what, 30 seconds of hearing? ...with a mind already prejudiced against it?  Shades of Paul Best! (You don't happen to think Beethoven was a hack, do you?) ;)

Where did you randomly pluck the figure of 30 seconds from?  You posted a Youtube clip that was over 6 minutes long.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: CaughtintheGaze on September 21, 2012, 05:17:09 AM
Of course it's not. But if you look carefully, you'll note that he didn't suggest you had said it, but rather that you would say it in the future. Rather consistent, wouldn't you say?

Well I am a straw dog, as my Professor would say.  ;D
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: PaulR on September 21, 2012, 05:21:37 AM
So this WASN'T criticising my method of listening?

Okay then.

Where did you randomly pluck the figure of 30 seconds from?  You posted a Youtube clip that was over 6 minutes long.
is 6 minutes really enough time to judge whether you like a piece or not?  If yes, how does one know the initial attraction of a piece will maintain its shine through multiple listenings?  If no, how can one possibly know, in one 6 minute listen, that you wouldn't find the music interesting in the future?
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: CaughtintheGaze on September 21, 2012, 05:24:00 AM
So this WASN'T criticising my method of listening?

Critical of your judgment.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: PaulR on September 21, 2012, 05:31:08 AM
I think I may have said this previously in this thread, in a more blunt and uneducated fashion, but I do not at all care for Wagner's operas.  I find nothing in them that rewards me*. 

That said, I do appreciate his theories on opera and agree with most of them.  Don't exactly know why it doesn't translate into me liking the music.

*Statement taken at 10:30 AM on September 21st 2012.  The poster has a right to change his mind at any point with no penalties.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Madiel on September 21, 2012, 05:36:23 AM
is 6 minutes really enough time to judge whether you like a piece or not?  If yes, how does one know the initial attraction of a piece will maintain its shine through multiple listenings?  If no, how can one possibly know, in one 6 minute listen, that you wouldn't find the music interesting in the future?

If it's a 6 minute piece, I would have thought 6 minutes was the perfect amount of time for gaining an impression of the piece! (EDIT: Especially if hearing it live.  I'm now imagining a concert where the orchestra plays the piece multiple times in case the audience didn't 'get it' the first time.)

If yes: I don't, but we're talking about interest, not liking, and it's extremely rare for something to stop being of interest even if I don't necessarily really like it.

If no: I don't.  But again, you're talking about a piece of music, and I'm primarily talking about an entire body of work.  If I don't find my first encounter with a composer/pop artist interesting, but I hear another piece and find it of interest, I am highly like to go back and listen to that first work again.

The idea that I stick entirely to what I alreadly like is highly amusing, simply because it's so massively far from the truth. I'm currently looking at buying the music of 6 different composers.  Two of them are composers I own no CDs for and know very little of their music.  Three of them are composers I only own a single CD for.  The sixth - Liszt - is a composer for whom I own just 3 CDs (Annees de pelerinage), who isn't actually a favourite, who I have to really pay attention to and knuckle down with to get the most out of his pieces, but who interests me.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: TheGSMoeller on September 21, 2012, 05:37:56 AM
For anyone who says that Glass is a bore, I'd ask them what they've actually heard of his. Sames goes for Adams, who sometimes gets lumped in with him.

I a little late to this party, but I agree here. I'm bias when it comes to Glass and his music, been an avid listener for 20 years now, but when there is a negative comment about his music I tend to always ask the pieces they've heard. Glass from the seventies is quite different from Glass of the past ten years. Still similar to the core, but there have been many elements and layers that have appeared later in his career. Music in Fifths and Symphony No.9, written decades apart, are on different planes.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Madiel on September 21, 2012, 05:38:31 AM
Critical of your judgment.

*Looks at title of the thread*

Ah yes. Sorry. Missed the memo.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: PaulR on September 21, 2012, 05:51:06 AM
If it's a 6 minute piece, I would have thought 6 minutes was the perfect amount of time for gaining an impression of the piece! (EDIT: Especially if hearing it live.  I'm now imagining a concert where the orchestra plays the piece multiple times in case the audience didn't 'get it' the first time.)

If yes: I don't, but we're talking about interest, not liking, and it's extremely rare for something to stop being of interest even if I don't necessarily really like it.

If no: I don't.  But again, you're talking about a piece of music, and I'm primarily talking about an entire body of work.  If I don't find my first encounter with a composer/pop artist interesting, but I hear another piece and find it of interest, I am highly like to go back and listen to that first work again.

The idea that I stick entirely to what I alreadly like is highly amusing, simply because it's so massively far from the truth. I'm currently looking at buying the music of 6 different composers.  Two of them are composers I own no CDs for and know very little of their music.  Three of them are composers I only own a single CD for.  The sixth - Liszt - is a composer for whom I own just 3 CDs (Annees de pelerinage), who isn't actually a favourite, who I have to really pay attention to and knuckle down with to get the most out of his pieces, but who interests me.
That is not a particularly "new" concept.  I am thinking of Schoenberg and co (I believe it was them) holding concerts to that effect.  Also, 6 minutes really is not that long of a time.  A second listening right away might reveal something new that you didn't notice, or confirm something that you didn't and didn't particularly care for.  But 6 minutes of any music is not enough time to determine if you truly are interested in a piece or not.  Chances are, you became interested in the music you like after multiple listenings to the same piece/artist and the first listening was merely a gateway in.  Besides, if you dismiss a piece or a composer after 6 minutes and don't listen to said composer again, how do you know you won't like the composer in 6 years?
But interests do change, usually more often than one might think.  You might find composer/concept interesting at different points of your life.  Again, how is 6 minutes enough to judge this?
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: North Star on September 21, 2012, 05:55:15 AM
But interests do change, usually more often than one might think.  You might find composer/concept interesting at different points of your life.  Again, how is 6 minutes enough to judge this?
And even at different times of day.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Madiel on September 21, 2012, 06:01:54 AM
That is not a particularly "new" concept.  I am thinking of Schoenberg and co (I believe it was them) holding concerts to that effect.  Also, 6 minutes really is not that long of a time.  A second listening right away might reveal something new that you didn't notice, or confirm something that you didn't and didn't particularly care for.  But 6 minutes of any music is not enough time to determine if you truly are interested in a piece or not.  Chances are, you became interested in the music you like after multiple listenings to the same piece/artist and the first listening was merely a gateway in.  Besides, if you dismiss a piece or a composer after 6 minutes and don't listen to said composer again, how do you know you won't like the composer in 6 years?
But interests do change, usually more often than one might think.  You might find composer/concept interesting at different points of your life.  Again, how is 6 minutes enough to judge this?

 Whatever Schoenberg might have done, this has an air of unreality about it.  Are you seriously suggesting that if you go to a concert, and hear a piece you've never heard before, and the piece is 6 minutes long, you're not allowed to have an opinion of what you thought of the piece?

 Again, you haven't read what I said.  Where on earth do you get the idea that I have only listened to 6 minutes of Philip Glass?I've even doubled that timeframe tonight, AFTER posting my initial comment about not finding the music of Philip Glass interesting.  How much Philip Glass listening am I required to clock up before having an opinion on Philip Glass?  I'm sure I've got at least 2-3 hours under my belt by now.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: DavidRoss on September 21, 2012, 06:15:56 AM
So this WASN'T criticising my method of listening?
No. Hearing brief samples is not the same as listening ... a distinction that I hope is more obvious than the point Don was trying to make about "opinions." (Clearly he had in mind the distinction between an opinion, which is at least somewhat informed, and a prejudice, which requires no knowledge whatsoever.)

Where did you randomly pluck the figure of 30 seconds from?  You posted a Youtube clip that was over 6 minutes long.
And almost exactly 5 minutes after I posted it, you posted your reaction. There's no way you could have heard the whole clip, let alone the entire concerto. And I imagine that at least a minute or two elapsed after my posting before you went to the site, thread, post, sample, and started listening. And then that you might have thought about what you'd heard for at least 30 seconds or so before taking a minute or two to post your reaction.

Was my guess at 30 seconds too generous? ;)

And there's probably no way you would know this, but the 30 seconds are also an homage to a former very active member here (and on Amazon) noted for reviewing music and recordings based on the 30-second sound clips accompanying Amazon's product listings.

Most of us eventually gave up expecting him to be rational enough to even want to understand why some folks regard that as an inadequate basis for forming opinions (though not for expressing prejudices). Of course, no one ever would have mistaken him for the brightest candle on the cake ... other than himself, of course (an all too common and very human failing).

Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Est.1965 on September 21, 2012, 06:26:52 AM
I have a composer I too am interested in but 'cannot get'  Olivier Messiaen.  I am interested in him because I heard The Turangalila Symphony in 1990, thought it dreadful and worth another listen for that reason, to find something I liked in it.  I don't know what I liked in it, but found something in the structure and purpose of his musical designs which I decided was somehow profound in the grand scheme of things, and from time to time I still listen to him.  His music does not resonate with me whatsoever, but I think the sentiment of his music keeps making me go back.
So I agree that even if a composer is not your cup of tea, you can still be interested in their works even in a way you might not quite understand yourself.  It would be unlikely for any Classical music fan to completely dismiss a composer in one 6 minuite hearing, never to be heard again (!), but I do agree that a good ear can make initial judgements about the style of a piece and what the composer has put into it, and access that when he comes across another work or works by the same composer for comparision with new listenings...the other end of the spectrum, one can like a new piece or 'lilt' of a composer so much that you must get everything they did, immediately and urgently (as happened to me with Salinen, Rangstrom, Atterberg and Arvo Part.)
Aye, it's a funny business this music lark.   :-\
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: DavidRoss on September 21, 2012, 06:28:53 AM
I think I may have said this previously in this thread, in a more blunt and uneducated fashion, but I do not at all care for Wagner's operas.  I find nothing in them that rewards me*. 

That said, I do appreciate his theories on opera and agree with most of them.  Don't exactly know why it doesn't translate into me liking the music.
I suspect it's because he was a much better theorist than practitioner, and much better composer than dramatist.

It's a challenge to set aside all the hype (which began with Wagner himself, certainly one of the greatest narcissists in human history) about Wagner's music dramas (especially The Ring) being the greatest thing since indoor plumbing ... and to force yourself time and again to suspend disbelief ... and to drink enough coffee! ... to hang in there enough to appreciate the gold left in the pan after sluicing out all the sand.

Just remember that even his severest critics recognized that there are moments of magnificence among the quarter-hours of drudgery. ;)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on September 21, 2012, 06:42:01 AM
No. Hearing brief samples is not the same as listening ... a distinction that I hope is more obvious than the point Don was trying to make about "opinions." (Clearly he had in mind the distinction between an opinion, which is at least somewhat informed, and a prejudice, which requires no knowledge whatsoever.)

Not to fuel the fire but a heartfelt thanks Dave for doing a better job than I at making this point clear. Unfortunately I let frustration get the better of me. :)



Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Madiel on September 21, 2012, 06:44:24 AM
And almost exactly 5 minutes after I posted it, you posted your reaction. There's no way you could have heard the whole clip, let alone the entire concerto. And I imagine that at least a minute or two elapsed after my posting before you went to the site, thread, post, sample, and started listening. And then that you might have thought about what you'd heard for at least 30 seconds or so before taking a minute or two to post your reaction.

You can imagine and surmise a lot of things, but of the three propositions listed here, only one is actually correct.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Sergeant Rock on September 21, 2012, 06:52:19 AM
There are two versions that may be of interest to you. I have not heard either one (but maybe soemeone here has). Both are often associated with the terms 'hot', 'molten', 'fiery', or something similar. They are Stokowski and Rozhdestvensky (Live Proms recording).

Thank you for the recommendation. And thanks too to Monkey Greg (Solti) and Karl (in a PM offering Munch/Boston). I don't know whether any of these versions would be revelation, making Scène aux champs more interesting than the others I've heard. I'll keep them all in mind for future purchases. For reference, here are the Symphonie fantastiques I own already:


MUNCH           BUDAPEST SO
BERNSTEIN      O NATIONAL FRANCE
KARAJAN           BERLIN
DAVIS           CONCERTGEBOUW
DAVIS           LSO
MARTINON       O NATIONAL OTRF
NORRINGTON   LONDON CLASSICAL
MAAZEL           CLEVELAND
GARDINER   O REVOLUTIONNAIRE ET ROMANTIQUE

Sarge
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on September 21, 2012, 06:56:22 AM
Does that mean you liked Norrington? After enjoying his Mahler 1st (much to my surprise), my mind's more open to his efforts. 

Is it the Stuttgart or London Classical disc that you and Sarge like so much?

Sorry I left this question hanging, Dave!

The London Classical Players disc . . . in fact, as a result of these reminiscences, I've ordered it back in . . . keen to revisit it after all these years . . . .
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Sammy on September 21, 2012, 06:56:48 AM
How much Philip Glass listening am I required to clock up before having an opinion on Philip Glass?  I'm sure I've got at least 2-3 hours under my belt by now.[/color]

The standard is a minimum of 20 hours within a one week period. 

Seriously, I advise you to pay as little attention as possible to the criticisms you have been receiving.  Life's too short to keep listening to stuff you don't appreciate.

As for me, Berlioz is a winner and Glass isn't part of my world.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: CaughtintheGaze on September 21, 2012, 06:58:00 AM
I think I may have said this previously in this thread, in a more blunt and uneducated fashion, but I do not at all care for Wagner's operas.  I find nothing in them that rewards me*. 

I was of very much the same opinion, until I took a good long break from them, and then it hit me like lightening while listening to the first disc of The Ring conducted by Karajan.

I have a composer I too am interested in but 'cannot get'  Olivier Messiaen.  I am interested in him because I heard The Turangalila Symphony in 1990, thought it dreadful and worth another listen for that reason, to find something I liked in it.  I don't know what I liked in it, but found something in the structure and purpose of his musical designs which I decided was somehow profound in the grand scheme of things, and from time to time I still listen to him.  His music does not resonate with me whatsoever, but I think the sentiment of his music keeps making me go back.

For me, the best entrance into Messiaen is his solo organ pieces. Just mind-blowing. I often have said that I prefer them to the works of Bach, without denigrating him in the slightest.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: CaughtintheGaze on September 21, 2012, 06:58:58 AM
The standard is a minimum of 20 hours within a one week period. 

Seriously, I advise you to pay as little attention as possible to the criticisms you have been receiving.  Life's too short to keep listening to stuff you don't appreciate.

Oh, the sarcasm of bulldog. I don't care how much you listen too or how little. I simply want you to judge less swiftly, so he can at least get a fair trial.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Madiel on September 21, 2012, 07:02:16 AM
Oh, the sarcasm of bulldog. I don't care how much you listen too or how little. I simply want you to judge less swiftly, so he can at least get a fair trial.

Given that the first time I heard the music of Philip Glass would have been 15-20 years ago, it is not as if I uttered his name in this thread in undue haste!
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Sammy on September 21, 2012, 07:03:44 AM
Oh, the sarcasm of bulldog. I don't care how much you listen too or how little. I simply want you to judge less swiftly, so he can at least get a fair trial.

A fair trial?  This isn't a court of law.  Orfeo has done his listening of Glass and isn't impressed.  Maybe in a few years he will give the Glass Man another try, maybe not.  Who the hell cares?
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: CaughtintheGaze on September 21, 2012, 07:04:56 AM
Given that the first time I heard the music of Philip Glass would have been 15-20 years ago, it is not as if I uttered his name in this thread in undue haste!

Perfectly understandable, and even I will assent that some of his music can be tiring and trying to listen too, but I do think he has some really good moments. This is the piece of his I listen to the most:

http://www.youtube.com/v/3FniHgiyaTY

But I also love that sort of structure in a keyboard work.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: CaughtintheGaze on September 21, 2012, 07:05:23 AM
A fair trial?  This isn't a court of law.  Orfeo has done his listening of Glass and isn't impressed.  Maybe in a few years he will give the Glass Man another try, maybe not.  Who the hell cares?

This is a classical music forum. It's all serious business.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: CaughtintheGaze on September 21, 2012, 07:07:21 AM
The same could be said of Richard Wagner.  Another composer I don't listen to.

I definitely would have agreed with this assessment a month or so ago.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Sammy on September 21, 2012, 07:09:00 AM
This is a classical music forum. It's all serious business.

Only when I say it is. ;D
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Gurn Blanston on September 21, 2012, 07:24:50 AM
I definitely would have agreed with this assessment a month or so ago.

Hell, I agree with it now!  I mean; after "The Ride of the Valkyries" whaddya got?   ::)

8)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: CaughtintheGaze on September 21, 2012, 07:25:23 AM
Hell, I agree with it now!  I mean; after "The Ride of the Valkyries" whaddya got?   ::)

8)

Effing dwarves!
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Gurn Blanston on September 21, 2012, 07:26:41 AM
Effing dwarves!

There you are. :)

8)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: CaughtintheGaze on September 21, 2012, 07:35:27 AM
There you are. :)

8)

It's also why The Hobbit will be better than the first LotR films put together.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Rinaldo on September 23, 2012, 04:29:40 AM
Re Metal, I would say prog is not the solution, it's the problem. There's another unpopular opinion for ya.

And one that I would defend 'til my dying breath.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: AndyD. on September 23, 2012, 04:35:20 AM



Re Metal, I would say prog is not the solution, it's the problem. There's another unpopular opinion for ya.


I think that labelling something as "Progressive" in Rock (and all its subgenres) tends to be a bit pretentious in itself. As if Rock in general is so (in a snotty voice) "un-Progressive". Plus it's a bit of an oxymoron, the more Progressive something gets, the less it Rocks, at least to my ears. And I have heard a whole lot of it.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Corey on September 23, 2012, 04:57:54 AM
Glass isn't part of my world.

I find Glass (and Reich) really helpful when I'm working. It seems to block out all other distractions so I can concentrate on the work — which is not meant to be a backhanded compliment. Music has its uses.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: AndyD. on September 23, 2012, 05:00:51 AM
I find Glass (and Reich) really helpful when I'm working. It seems to block out all other distractions so I can concentrate on the work — which is not meant to be a backhanded compliment. Music has its uses.


I agree, Corey. I'm also a Glass enthusiast, though to a limited degree. Some of his music doesn't do too much for me. I also liked and learned something from the reality tv-esque documentary I saw on him on Netflix awhile back.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: TheGSMoeller on September 23, 2012, 05:19:05 AM
I find Philip Glass to be a great film score composer, the repetitiveness of the arpeggios and themes effectively connect scenes and characters together, rather than having completely separate motifs for each scene or location. Take for example The Hours, the plot spans decades apart following three to four chracters, but Glass' music assists in acting, along with a brilliant script and direction, as a bond that effortlessly segues these elements.
Also look for this trait in Kundan and in the re-scoring of old classics such as Dracula.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: DavidRoss on September 23, 2012, 05:24:04 AM
I find Philip Glass to be a great film score composer, the repetitiveness of the arpeggios and themes effectively connect scenes and characters together, rather than having completely separate motifs for each scene or location. Take for example The Hours, the plot spans decades apart following three to four chracters, but Glass' music assists in acting, along with a brilliant script and direction, as a bond that effortlessly segues these elements.
Also look for this trait in Kundan and in the re-scoring of old classics such as Dracula.
I didn't see The Hours but otherwise agree. The score for The Illusionist was terrific.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: TheGSMoeller on September 23, 2012, 05:26:35 AM
I didn't see The Hours but otherwise agree. The score for The Illusionist was terrific.

Ah, another good example, thanks, David.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Rinaldo on September 25, 2012, 04:41:09 AM
I like Glass (two of his operas - Satyagraha and Akhnaten - are among my favourite pieces of music) but I never understood the rage about The Hours. It's nice to listen to (as Glass usually is, if you're not allergic to his method) but I find it pretty dull. When it comes to his movie scores, I prefer the -qatsi stuff. Kundun is great as well.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Tapio Dimitriyevich Shostakovich on September 25, 2012, 07:27:20 AM
[drop_nade]Mozart is outdated music for old people.
Mozart sucks.
Shostakovich is for the younger.
Shostakovich rocks.[/drop]

Honestly I experienced, old grand daddies love Mozart, Haydn, Schubert, Vienna, blah... whereas Shostakovich, Braga Santos, Pettersson [insert other hypes here] is for the younger.

What, I'm generalizing? Good!
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on September 25, 2012, 07:35:00 AM
What's the divide for those of us who admire and enjoy Shostakovich and Braga Santos, but who think Pettersson was a bathetic putz? ; )
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Mirror Image on September 25, 2012, 07:36:02 AM
What's the divide for those of us who admire and enjoy Shostakovich and Braga Santos, but who think Pettersson was a bathetic putz? ; )

 :P
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Florestan on September 25, 2012, 10:44:26 PM
[drop_nade]Mozart is outdated music for old people.
Mozart sucks.
Shostakovich is for the younger.
Shostakovich rocks.[/drop]

Honestly I experienced, old grand daddies love Mozart, Haydn, Schubert, Vienna, blah... whereas Shostakovich, Braga Santos, Pettersson [insert other hypes here] is for the younger.

No wonder. Maturity comes with age is valid also for good taste...  ;D
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Concord on September 26, 2012, 11:07:11 AM
Duke Ellington is overrated.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: TheGSMoeller on September 26, 2012, 11:52:43 AM
Duke Ellington is overrated.

Classical? Jazz? Or overall overrated?
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Concord on September 26, 2012, 01:07:28 PM
Classical? Jazz? Or overall overrated?

He's long been a favoirite of jazz critics, but he's also become the darling of classical types who want to promote his work as great American music "beyond category."  But I find his work rather bland and uninteresting, no matter how you approach it. I agree with Rudi Blesh's assessment: "The laurels of Stravinsky and Hindemith are safe, and, as for jazz, the Duke never played it." 
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: DavidRoss on September 26, 2012, 01:17:28 PM
Duke Ellington is overrated.
That's how I felt at 18.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: TheGSMoeller on September 26, 2012, 02:49:07 PM
He's long been a favoirite of jazz critics, but he's also become the darling of classical types who want to promote his work as great American music "beyond category."  But I find his work rather bland and uninteresting, no matter how you approach it. I agree with Rudi Blesh's assessment: "The laurels of Stravinsky and Hindemith are safe, and, as for jazz, the Duke never played it."

That's how I felt at 18.

Interesting, I will admit I don't know much of his outlet, but his name is all over the history books. Give me Satchmo any day, Artie Shaw, Benny Goodman, or even Cab Calloway.  8)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Brian on September 29, 2012, 09:45:29 AM
I hate, hate, hate Orff's "Carmina Burana."
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Drasko on September 29, 2012, 09:50:10 AM
"Wagner's music is fungal. I think Wagner is a fungus. It's a sort of unnatural growth. It's parasitic in a sense – on its models, on its material. His material doesn't grow symphonically – it doesn't grow through a musical logic – it grows parasitically."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012/sep/28/composer-thomas-ades
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: DavidRoss on September 29, 2012, 10:13:54 AM
"Wagner's music is fungal. I think Wagner is a fungus. It's a sort of unnatural growth. It's parasitic in a sense – on its models, on its material. His material doesn't grow symphonically – it doesn't grow through a musical logic – it grows parasitically."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012/sep/28/composer-thomas-ades
Unpopular?
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Lisztianwagner on September 30, 2012, 09:44:28 AM
"Wagner's music is fungal. I think Wagner is a fungus. It's a sort of unnatural growth. It's parasitic in a sense – on its models, on its material. His material doesn't grow symphonically – it doesn't grow through a musical logic – it grows parasitically."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012/sep/28/composer-thomas-ades

 >:(

These words are not very new to me; Nietzsche said: "Wagner is not a syllogism, but a disease".
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on September 30, 2012, 10:10:03 AM
Unpopular?

+ 1
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Carolus on September 30, 2012, 12:34:00 PM
I hate, hate, hate Orff's "Carmina Burana."
So, you disagree with the Nazis. They love it.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Mirror Image on September 30, 2012, 05:48:39 PM
Interesting, I will admit I don't know much of his outlet, but his name is all over the history books. Give me Satchmo any day, Artie Shaw, Benny Goodman, or even Cab Calloway.  8)

If we're talking about big bands, then give me Stan Kenton's big band over them all. Beautiful harmonies and arrangements. The musicians Kenton chose were always top-notch. Some incredible players like Lee Konitz, Art Pepper, Shelly Manne, Shorty Rogers, Conte Candoli, Zoot Sims, Lucky Thompson, Stan Levey, etc. have been members of his big band.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Corey on October 01, 2012, 03:52:09 AM
I hate, hate, hate Orff's "Carmina Burana."

What's to dislike about children singing "I am aflame with love" in Medieval Latin?
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Superhorn on October 01, 2012, 06:55:51 AM
    Tommy's ridiculous comments about Wagner show that he is suffering from A.D.E.S.  I don't know what that stands for, but it's a terrible pun on AIDS. 
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Est.1965 on October 01, 2012, 08:47:55 AM
Country Western Music.  Absolute pish most of it.  And over the years, the boundaries of the Country music  soundworld has been stretched out a little bit to encompass more pish which doesn't sound like Country - ala Classical Music with its dreadful 'crossover' genre.  County music is lonely Hillbilly singin'.  There is little about horses and mountains and wild things - 'country' music is all about something that is lost, usually a woman or a sense of place.  It's melodies are so simple, a six year old child could be the new Merle Haggard.  Even in Scotland we have nutcases who don ten gallon hats, holsters and lassoos for a big night out of Country Singin'.
With the help of a resurrected Bruno Walter, I would like to corral all them rednecks and their stetson hats in the mountains of North Dakota, fence them off Wintertime and leave them there - that might give them a sense of what they should be singing about.  There is nothing in Country Music that delights, unless you are of the mindset to get drunk and cry or jump in a vat of boiling porrige.   :o >:(
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: DavidRoss on October 01, 2012, 09:11:01 AM
Yeah. Here's some of that crap country & western music (which originated with the folk music of the Scottish and Scots-Irish settlers in Appalachia):

http://www.youtube.com/v/HFeB7zTGesk
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Est.1965 on October 01, 2012, 10:14:59 AM
Yeah. Here's some of that crap country & western music (which originated with the folk music of the Scottish and Scots-Irish settlers in Appalachia):

http://www.youtube.com/v/HFeB7zTGesk

Darn 'em Scottish rednecks.  I might have known we were somehow responsible for it.  Typical.  Next thing you know Buicks, Penicillin, refrigerators, telephones, televisions,  and all manner of other popular things will be blamed on the Scots too.
 >:(
***puts stetson on, fixes holster, adjusts kilt, leaves room***
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: DavidRoss on October 01, 2012, 10:29:47 AM
***puts stetson on, fixes holster, adjusts kilt, leaves room***
;D
Perhaps that explains why there are no Scottish cowboys!
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Rinaldo on October 02, 2012, 12:01:31 AM
Country Western Music.  Absolute pish most of it.  And over the years, the boundaries of the Country music  soundworld has been stretched out a little bit to encompass more pish which doesn't sound like Country - ala Classical Music with its dreadful 'crossover' genre.  County music is lonely Hillbilly singin'.  There is little about horses and mountains and wild things - 'country' music is all about something that is lost, usually a woman or a sense of place.  It's melodies are so simple, a six year old child could be the new Merle Haggard.  Even in Scotland we have nutcases who don ten gallon hats, holsters and lassoos for a big night out of Country Singin'.
With the help of a resurrected Bruno Walter, I would like to corral all them rednecks and their stetson hats in the mountains of North Dakota, fence them off Wintertime and leave them there - that might give them a sense of what they should be singing about.  There is nothing in Country Music that delights, unless you are of the mindset to get drunk and cry or jump in a vat of boiling porrige.   :o >:(

Now I know how you folks must have felt when I called Berlioz a hack.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Florestan on October 02, 2012, 12:05:48 AM
There is little about horses and mountains and wild things - 'country' music is all about something that is lost, usually a woman or a sense of place. 

Why would that upset you? It only proves that the cowboys are sensitive souls.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Est.1965 on October 05, 2012, 08:00:53 AM
I prefer Prokofiev to Shostakovich.

I share this preference, but I do not understand it.    :-\  Maybe it's not unpopular...  if it is, there must be something wrong with us.  :)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: DavidRoss on October 05, 2012, 08:09:45 AM
I prefer Prokofiev to Shostakovich.
Me, too--massively. (So this opinion is not unpopular with me! ;) )
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Mirror Image on October 05, 2012, 08:47:03 AM
I prefer Prokofiev to Shostakovich.

Don't really see how this opinion could be unpopular. I love Prokofiev's music and while Shostakovich is my numero uno, I rate Prokofiev very highly. Definitely a favorite.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on October 05, 2012, 09:12:27 AM
Submitted for your approval (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,9.msg665180.html#msg665180)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on October 05, 2012, 09:14:27 AM
Thread Duty:
 
I like the Prokofiev Second best of all his symphonies ; )
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: North Star on October 05, 2012, 09:19:56 AM
Thread Duty:
 
I like the Prokofiev Second best of all his symphonies ; )
I agree, but is this an unpopular opinion? Although of course plenty of people have only heard the First on the radio.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Gurn Blanston on October 05, 2012, 09:24:04 AM
Thread Duty:
 
I like the Prokofiev Second best of all his symphonies ; )

I like it second best too. I like the First first best.  0:)

8)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on October 05, 2012, 09:29:05 AM
Re-parsed by a Texan! Hate when that happens! ; )
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: TheGSMoeller on October 05, 2012, 09:29:45 AM
I prefer Prokofiev to Shostakovich.

Not unpopular, I have been saying that for years, and its not a knock on DSCH, just high praise for Prokofiev.

What I feel may be unpopular, is my disagreement for the high praise Aaron Copland receives. I find much of the music to be quite bland behind all the flare, pop and serenity of his most well known works (Rodeo, Billy The Kid, Appalacian Spring, Symphony 3). I don't find anything challenging or fresh in Copland's music.
Regarding American composers, Ives is the granddaddy of them all, but I even prefer Piston, Hovhanass, and a personal favorite, Schoenfield over Copland.

Copland is the Spielberg of American music, whereas Ives is the Terrance Malick of American music. Think about it, Spielberg's film never truly demand the audience's full concentration or participation, the questions and answers, the mystery, the resolutions, is all laid out clearly for its viewers. It's entertaining, yes, but that's as far as it goes.
Ives, similar to Malick, takes a genre, a tune, an general idea and completely dissects it, exploring all the facets, allowing the listener, or viewer, complete access into the possibilities of conclusions. There are no boundaries, and nothing is forbidden. It's a trip into an unknown world that is full of familiarity.

 
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Mirror Image on October 05, 2012, 09:32:47 AM
Thread Duty:
 
I like the Prokofiev Second best of all his symphonies ; )

Yeah, Prokofiev's 2nd is just my cup of insanity. I love it! >:D I like Shosty's 2nd come to think of it too. Totally crazy.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on October 05, 2012, 09:37:34 AM
Not unpopular, I have been saying that for years, and its not a knock on DSCH, just high praise for Prokofiev.

That's the right angle!
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Mirror Image on October 05, 2012, 09:42:58 AM
Not unpopular, I have been saying that for years, and its not a knock on DSCH, just high praise for Prokofiev.

What I feel may be unpopular, is my disagreement for the high praise Aaron Copland receives. I find much of the music to be quite bland behind all the flare, pop and serenity of his most well known works (Rodeo, Billy The Kid, Appalacian Spring, Symphony 3). I don't find anything challenging or fresh in Copland's music.
Regarding American composers, Ives is the granddaddy of them all, but I even prefer Piston, Hovhanass, and a personal favorite, Schoenfield over Copland.

Copland is the Spielberg of American music, whereas Ives is the Terrance Malick of American music. Think about it, Spielberg's film never truly demand the audience's full concentration or participation, the questions and answers, the mystery, the resolutions, is all laid out clearly for its viewers. It's entertaining, yes, but that's as far as it goes.
Ives, similar to Malick, takes a genre, a tune, an general idea and completely dissects it, exploring all the facets, allowing the listener, or viewer, complete access into the possibilities of conclusions. There are no boundaries, and nothing is forbidden. It's a trip into an unknown world that is full of familiarity.

I personally like a good bit of Copland's music. I think if you looked at Copland's entire oeuvre it's quite diverse. I don't know if I care for your comparison you made with Spielberg either. Ives may be the grandfather of American classical music, but Copland put a unique spin on the American sound and, in turn, inspired many others to do the same, but really comparing Ives and Copland is apples and oranges. They couldn't be more different from each other.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Mirror Image on October 05, 2012, 09:47:10 AM
I prefer Copland to Ives.

 :D

In some ways, yes, but I think both composers are outstanding.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: TheGSMoeller on October 05, 2012, 09:49:41 AM
In some ways, yes, but I think both composers are outstanding.

And I agree, John, it may have been comparing apples to oranges, but what's the fun in comparing apples to apples?  ;D
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on October 05, 2012, 09:53:14 AM
Well, I think Copland was clearly a more professional composer than Ives.
 
OTOH, Ives was apt to much nervier artistic 'risk' than was Copland.
 
That said, I like both of them very well, and would not wish either otherwise than he was.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Mirror Image on October 05, 2012, 09:54:36 AM
And I agree, John, it may have been comparing apples to oranges, but what's the fun in comparing apples to apples?  ;D

I suppose so, Greg. :) For me, one listen to Copland's Clarinet Concerto reveals an intimacy in this composer that I don't always get in Ives. For me, and you may not like this analogy Greg, but Ives is like a chemist whereas Copland is a craftsman. Both approaches are valid, but many people are naturally going to gravitate towards one over the other, but I like both.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: TheGSMoeller on October 05, 2012, 09:56:37 AM
I suppose so, Greg. :) For me, one listen to Copland's Clarinet Concerto reveals an intimacy in this composer that I don't get in Ives. For me, and you may not like this analogy Greg, but Ives is like a chemist whereas Copland is a craftsman. Both approaches are valid, but you're naturally going to gravitate towards one over the other.

I love analogies, and yours is a good one!

Surprisingly, my favorite Copland piece is El Salon Mexico.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on October 05, 2012, 09:57:37 AM
I suppose so, Greg. :) For me, one listen to Copland's Clarinet Concerto reveals an intimacy in this composer that I don't always get in Ives. For me, and you may not like this analogy Greg, but Ives is like a chemist whereas Copland is a craftsman. Both approaches are valid, but you're naturally going to gravitate towards one over the other.

An interesting analogy.

I should disagree, though, that one necessarily will gravitate to one of the other Type.  Some of us (many, I should think) like both caviar and fish-&-chips.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on October 05, 2012, 09:59:34 AM
If you haven't heard the Sextet, there's an important angle to Copland whereof you are almost entirely unaware.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Mirror Image on October 05, 2012, 10:01:42 AM
I love analogies, and yours is a good one!

Surprisingly, my favorite Copland piece is El Salon Mexico.

Thanks, Greg. I haven't listened to El Salon Mexico in quite some time. When I did listen to that work, I keep wondering why am I not listening to Chavez or Revueltas instead? :-\
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Mirror Image on October 05, 2012, 10:05:08 AM
I don't often find myself listening to either composer's music.  However, I am well aware that I listen to Copland much more often than Ives.   Ives' music has never appealed to me and I listen to him mainly for historical education; not enjoyment.  Of course Copland's Appalachian Spring is a wonderful work that I listen to regularly but I also like some of his "out of the way" works like the Piano Concerto (which I consider a Gershwin homage) and his Clarinet Concerto (not so "out of the way") is one of my favorite works in that form. I also enjoy his film music quite a lot.

Ives is damn awesome. I love his music. Sometimes his music is just so overwhelmingly chaotic and then it comes to an eerie silence where only a few instruments are played. Works like Holidays Symphony and Symphony No. 4 never fail to give me satisfaction. Central Park in the Dark if played the Bernstein way will reveal just how demonic that work sounds. >:D The guy is just amazing and one of my first classical loves.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: TheGSMoeller on October 05, 2012, 10:09:35 AM
An interesting analogy.

I should disagree, though, that one necessarily will gravitate to one of the other Type.  Some of us (many, I should think) like both caviar and fish-&-chips.


Great point, Karl.
Desprez in the morning, Liszt for the afternoon, and a late night snack of Schoenberg.


Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on October 05, 2012, 10:09:46 AM
If this was addressed to me ... I am almost sure I've heard it since I've heard most of Copland's music at some time or other; but I guess it didn't stick with me.  I will hunt it down.  I am aware he has a  "thorny" side (to use a modern music cliche) if the Sextet might be described thorny, but do not turn to him for this kind of thing.  Carter (among others) is my go-to guy for thorn.

Well, the Piano Variations give more of the thorny bit. There's a bracing athleticism in the Sextet, whereof there is some hint in (say) Appalachian Spring, but in the latter work (depending on how it's treated) it can go a bit mushy.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: TheGSMoeller on October 05, 2012, 10:11:10 AM
I am happy for you  :D  And gladly turn over to you all my Ives listening chores.   ;D

Love this. I imagine the voice of the Dos Equis "Interesting Man" saying this with such a smooth coolness.  ;D
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: DavidRoss on October 05, 2012, 10:11:54 AM
What I feel may be unpopular, is my disagreement for the high praise Aaron Copland receives. I find much of the music to be quite bland behind all the flare, pop and serenity of his most well known works (Rodeo, Billy The Kid, Appalacian Spring, Symphony 3). I don't find anything challenging or fresh in Copland's music.
An opinion that's probably unpopular in general, but well entrenched in the mainstream at GMG.

Personally, I love Copland. And I suspect that if you find nothing challenging in his music, then you may have missed some of his less popular works. And if you find nothing fresh in his music, that may be because his popular successes thoroughly influenced most American music that followed.  Somewhat like Korngold who's so often dismissed as "sounding like movie music."
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Brian on October 05, 2012, 10:12:44 AM
Liszt for the afternoon,
Funny, I just put on the Annees de Pelerinage (Chamayou).
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: TheGSMoeller on October 05, 2012, 12:28:35 PM
I am listening to the Sextet as I type, and do hear the aspects of Appalachian SpringI think you refer to.  Inscape, Connotations and Piano Variations, yes, definitely, a thornier Copland.

Perhaps I will expand my Copland knowledge, I'll look for some of these pieces online.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: RJR on November 18, 2012, 01:49:16 PM
Before getting into classical, people online would keep telling me what composers I need to listen to. Most of them said either Mozart, Beethoven, or Bach. What these people don't understand and probably still don't is that I believe people need to create their path with music. I mean sure we can take a suggestion or a recommendation for a recording, but, ultimately, we are the only ones that can decide what we want out of this music. Mozart, Bach, and Beethoven aren't composers I flock to nor have I ever even considered them apart of my musical vocabulary. Perhaps some of this comes from the fact that I didn't study music and thus I never had to learn a Bach or Beethoven piece on the piano. No, I come to music from a completely different side. I came to classical from a rock and jazz background with no training in the alleged 'classics'. When I chose to explore Bartok, Ravel, or Bruckner, people who knew I was new to classical would say that I need to be listening to better, more influential composers. After awhile, I considered these suggestions nothing more than a form of bullying. Nobody can force you to listen to anything. I think these "suggestions" did more harm than good. Now, I'm glad I did what the hell I wanted to and didn't listen to the naysayers who said I was making a mistake by purposely bypassing the Baroque and Classical Eras. I bypassed these periods of music because they didn't interest me. I like dissonance that is in your face. I like harmonic ambiguity. I like music that pounds away at your heartstrings and never lets up and music that starts off witty but suddenly becomes vulgar. This is the music of my soul. It is real, it is honest.

Have you listened to K. A. Hartmann?
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Mirror Image on November 18, 2012, 07:52:21 PM
Have you listened to K. A. Hartmann?

Yes, I'm still trying to get into him, but it shouldn't take much longer since Alban Berg is a favorite of mine. Hartmann took the whole Expressionist meltdown thing to another level entirely. :D
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Superhorn on November 19, 2012, 07:25:05 AM
   I've never liked the music of Poulenc.  It represents French music at its frivolous worst. Humor in music is wonderful, but I can't stand cuteness in it. And Poulenc's music is annoyingly cutsie-pie.  All that  mincing preciosity, the affected  Parisian chi-chi and frou-frou .
When Poulenc tries to be serious, as in Les Dialogues du Carmelites, he's just boringly gloomy .
   I'm not anti-french at all . I admire other French composers such as Berlioz, Massenet, Saint-Saens, Dukas, Faure ,Messiaen, Roussel ,etc greatly .
But Poulenc's music is just so off-putting to me.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on November 19, 2012, 07:33:34 AM
You've mistaken this for the Kvetch About Any Composer You Dislike thread.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Opus106 on November 19, 2012, 07:41:32 AM
Kvetch About Any Composer You Dislike

Isn't that (one of) the point(s) of this thread? ;)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on November 19, 2012, 07:50:23 AM
Isn't that (one of) the point(s) of this thread? ;)

It presupposes that consensus is for Poulenc.

I love Poulenc's music; he is one of my favorite composers.  Everything you find objectionable I consider his most attractive characteristics.  Which only goes to show that there is no accounting for taste - and I am uncertain which of our opinions is the more unpopular.

Precisamente.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Brian on November 19, 2012, 07:52:26 AM
It represents French music at its frivolous worst. Humor in music is wonderful, but I can't stand cuteness in it. And Poulenc's music is annoyingly cutsie-pie.  All that  mincing preciosity, the affected  Parisian chi-chi and frou-frou .
Boy, you would HATE Jean Francaix!
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Opus106 on November 19, 2012, 08:43:14 AM
It presupposes that consensus is for Poulenc.

Ah.

;D

Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on November 19, 2012, 08:57:53 AM
Ah.

;D

As san anton' suggests . . . there is not, I don't suppose, a consensus w/r/t Poulenc in either direction.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Mirror Image on November 19, 2012, 09:11:51 AM
I like Poulenc. Not everything the man wrote mind you, but he has composed some fantastic music. If anything, his chamber music should be high on most listener's favorite lists. It's definitely on mine.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Rinaldo on November 19, 2012, 10:37:20 AM
Yeah, yeah, keep reminding me that the Poulenc piano music set still didn't arrive, even though Amazon shipped me a new, free order after the first didn't show up..  :'(

Anyway, his concertos for keyboard instruments are ace! And I don't hear an ounce of frenchness in them.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Opus106 on November 19, 2012, 10:46:31 AM
Yeah, yeah, keep reminding me that the Poulenc piano music set still didn't arrive, even though Amazon shipped me a new, free order after the first didn't show up..  :'(

Sorry to hear about that. Third time lucky, perhaps?

Speaking of his piano music, it is quite possible that I wrongly remembered what I had heard in the radio a few years ago, when I bought a box full of Scriabin's piano output earlier this year. It probably should have been Poulenc's. :-\
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: The Six on November 19, 2012, 01:27:11 PM
As san anton' suggests . . . there is not, I don't suppose, a consensus w/r/t Poulenc in either direction.


(http://img221.imageshack.us/img221/888/judgemillslanecw3.jpg)


I'll allow it.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on November 19, 2012, 02:05:39 PM
Winning!
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Superhorn on November 20, 2012, 07:42:19 AM
   I've heard some of Francaix's music, and it's pleasant but  insignificant.  One piece, the Orloge des Flore, or the Flower Clock, for oboe and orchestra, isn't bad
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Mirror Image on November 20, 2012, 08:56:53 AM
   I've heard some of Francaix's music, and it's pleasant but  insignificant.  One piece, the Orloge des Flore, or the Flower Clock, for oboe and orchestra, isn't bad

Yeah, I'm not crazy about Francaix's music either. There's nothing for me to grab ahold of in his music.  I need more tension and a bit more dissonance.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Madiel on November 23, 2012, 04:16:22 PM
As san anton' suggests . . . there is not, I don't suppose, a consensus w/r/t Poulenc in either direction.

Having just got into exploring Poulenc more, I was interested to discover that not even Poulenc had a consensus about Poulenc. He repudiated much of his earlier work in fairly strong  terms.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Brian on December 27, 2012, 06:28:39 PM
John (MI) asked about this on Facebook, so: yes, I sincerely love "Gangnam Style." The song itself is fairly catchy and of modest interest, but the video is a total delight. It's a sort of unabashed celebration that makes me extremely happy.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Mirror Image on December 27, 2012, 06:46:14 PM
John (MI) asked about this on Facebook, so: yes, I sincerely love "Gangnam Style." The song itself is fairly catchy and of modest interest, but the video is a total delight. It's a sort of unabashed celebration that makes me extremely happy.

Oh dear lord...
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: CaughtintheGaze on December 27, 2012, 09:48:19 PM
John (MI) asked about this on Facebook, so: yes, I sincerely love "Gangnam Style." The song itself is fairly catchy and of modest interest, but the video is a total delight. It's a sort of unabashed celebration that makes me extremely happy.

This is my favorite version:
http://www.youtube.com/v/0bpirJm9aMk
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: RJR on December 30, 2012, 11:59:58 AM
It was easy to tell that there was no anger there, you didn't need to belabor it. ::)  Anyway, who really gives a damn what you listen to? You like what you like, I like what I like, DavidW likes what he likes. Where's the problem? It's kinda like you have a teeny tiny chip on your shoulder... :)

8)

A Laura Scudders potato chip perhaps?
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: The Six on August 12, 2013, 05:28:33 PM
I always get mixed up between what is a parallel key and what is a relative key. The main reason is, to me, they could interchangeably describe either key. A Minor and A Major are parallel because they start on the same note, so in playing one scale I'm moving parallel to the other, despite the few different intervals . And obviously the reasoning that they are relative works, as well.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: eumyang on August 13, 2013, 05:33:02 AM
I think I have two:

(1) For whatever reason, vocal music & opera do not hold my interest as much as instrumental music.  I would say over 98% of my classical CD's are of instrumental music. :o  I just checked my collection and I have a grand total of four (!!!!) vocal CDs or CD sets (Beethoven's Missa Solemnis, Brahms' Liebeslieder Waltzes, Mozart's Die Zauberflöte and Mozart's Requiem).  And the next few CDs I plan to buy are instrumental.

(2) I rarely buy more than one recording of the same work or collection of works.  This is due to my upbringing; our family wasn't exactly rich, and buying more than one LP of the same music was considered a waste of money.  I still remember my dad being mad at me when I asked for money to buy a second recording of Beethoven's symphonies.  The only multiple recordings I have right now are of Beethoven's piano sonatas (Brendel on Vox and Goode) and Bach's Art of Fugue (although I'm not sure if this counts, because they are of different instrumental forces: one is for string quartet, and the other is for piano solo).
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Gurn Blanston on August 13, 2013, 05:41:59 AM
......Bach's Art of Fugue (although I'm not sure if this counts, because they are of different instrumental forces: one is for string quartet, and the other is for piano solo).

Clearly the solo piano version was a waste of money... :P

8)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: North Star on August 13, 2013, 05:42:35 AM
I think I have two:

(1) For whatever reason, vocal music & opera do not hold my interest as much as instrumental music.  I would say over 98% of my classical CD's are of instrumental music. :o  I just checked my collection and I have a grand total of four (!!!!) vocal CDs or CD sets (Beethoven's Missa Solemnis, Brahms' Liebeslieder Waltzes, Mozart's Die Zauberflöte and Mozart's Requiem).  And the next few CDs I plan to buy are instrumental.

(2) I rarely buy more than one recording of the same work or collection of works.  This is due to my upbringing; our family wasn't exactly rich, and buying more than one LP of the same music was considered a waste of money.  I still remember my dad being mad at me when I asked for money to buy a second recording of Beethoven's symphonies.  The only multiple recordings I have right now are of Beethoven's piano sonatas (Brendel on Vox and Goode) and Bach's Art of Fugue (although I'm not sure if this counts, because they are of different instrumental forces: one is for string quartet, and the other is for piano solo).
Neither is really that unpopular an opinion. On this forum, there are plenty of folks with recordings of each of the Mahler/Bruckner/Beethoven/Brahms symphonies well into double digits, but there are also people who aren't that interested in having a huge number of recordings of a work (like me). And the vocal/opera part of the forum isn't exactly hyperactive, is it?
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on August 13, 2013, 05:46:04 AM
. . . and Bach's Art of Fugue (although I'm not sure if this counts, because they are of different instrumental forces: one is for string quartet, and the other is for piano solo).

I wonder what instrumental forces Bach specified (hint, hint) . . . .
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: North Star on August 13, 2013, 05:51:40 AM
I wonder what instrumental forces Bach specified (hint, hint) . . . .
The saxophone quartet is surely closest to being authentic.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: jut1972 on August 13, 2013, 06:25:59 AM
John (MI) asked about this on Facebook, so: yes, I sincerely love "Gangnam Style." The song itself is fairly catchy and of modest interest, but the video is a total delight. It's a sort of unabashed celebration that makes me extremely happy.

+1.
2nd best pop song of last 20 years. .. hit me baby one more time is  #1 by the way.

  >:D

Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Sammy on August 13, 2013, 09:43:22 AM
  The only multiple recordings I have right now are of Beethoven's piano sonatas (Brendel on Vox and Goode) and Bach's Art of Fugue (although I'm not sure if this counts, because they are of different instrumental forces: one is for string quartet, and the other is for piano solo).

It counts if you say it counts. 8)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Sergeant Rock on August 13, 2013, 09:51:12 AM
+1.
2nd best pop song of last 20 years. .. hit me baby one more time is  #1 by the way.

  >:D

Unpopular indeed  :D

These are all better:

SOPHIE B. HAWKINS   AS I LAY ME DOWN  1994
STONE ROSES   LOVE SPREADS  1994
HEATHER NOVA   WALK THIS WORLD  1995
SMASHING PUMPKINS   BULLET WITH BUTTERFLY WINGS  1995
ALANIS MORISSETTE   YOU OUGHTA KNOW  1995 
THE CONNELLS   '74-'75  1995
SMASHING PUMPKINS   TONIGHT TONIGHT  1996
DEANNA CARTER   STRAWBERRY WINE  1996
SUBLIME   WHAT I GOT  1996
SUBLIME   WRONG WAY  1997
JEWEL   FOOLISH GAMES  1997
TONI BRAXTON   UN-BREAK MY HEART  1997
FLEETWOOD MAC/STEVIE NICKS   LANDSLIDE  1997
CHUMBAWAMBA   TUBTHUMPING  1998
NATALIE IMBRUGLIA   TORN  1998
MADONNA   FROZEN  1998
WILLIE NELSON with EMMYLOU HARRIS   I NEVER CARED FOR YOU  1998
GOO GOO DOLLS   IRIS  1998
BLONDIE   MARIA  1999
JOHN PRINE and IRIS DEMENT   IN SPITE OF OURSELVES  1999
THE CORRS   BREATHLESS  2000


Sarge
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: modUltralaser on August 13, 2013, 10:01:32 AM
Sarge, none of those seem to be pop songs.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Sergeant Rock on August 13, 2013, 10:06:37 AM
Sarge, none of those seem to be pop songs.

I heard them all on German pop radio stations. Maybe we just have superior pop...and superior radio  :D


Sarge
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: modUltralaser on August 13, 2013, 10:14:02 AM
I heard them all on German pop radio stations. Maybe we just have superior pop...and superior radio  :D


Sarge

Lol. For me pop is vapid and ultimately forgettable.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: jut1972 on August 13, 2013, 10:24:28 AM
Lots of pap there Sarge  ;)  but seriously... think of the impact that song had... unpopular but undeniable!

Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Brian on August 13, 2013, 10:27:23 AM
German pop, better?

HELLZ YEAH:

http://www.youtube.com/v/fKFORPJFMxc
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Sergeant Rock on August 13, 2013, 10:29:46 AM
And this  :D

http://www.youtube.com/v/lNYcviXK4rg


Sarge
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Parsifal on August 13, 2013, 10:32:04 AM
Unpopular indeed  :D

These are all better:

SOPHIE B. HAWKINS   AS I LAY ME DOWN  1994
STONE ROSES   LOVE SPREADS  1994
HEATHER NOVA   WALK THIS WORLD  1995
SMASHING PUMPKINS   BULLET WITH BUTTERFLY WINGS  1995
ALANIS MORISSETTE   YOU OUGHTA KNOW  1995 
THE CONNELLS   '74-'75  1995
SMASHING PUMPKINS   TONIGHT TONIGHT  1996
DEANNA CARTER   STRAWBERRY WINE  1996
SUBLIME   WHAT I GOT  1996
SUBLIME   WRONG WAY  1997
JEWEL   FOOLISH GAMES  1997
TONI BRAXTON   UN-BREAK MY HEART  1997
FLEETWOOD MAC/STEVIE NICKS   LANDSLIDE  1997
CHUMBAWAMBA   TUBTHUMPING  1998
NATALIE IMBRUGLIA   TORN  1998
MADONNA   FROZEN  1998
WILLIE NELSON with EMMYLOU HARRIS   I NEVER CARED FOR YOU  1998
GOO GOO DOLLS   IRIS  1998
BLONDIE   MARIA  1999
JOHN PRINE and IRIS DEMENT   IN SPITE OF OURSELVES  1999
THE CORRS   BREATHLESS  2000


Sarge

You forgot, "The Night Chicago Died," Paper Lace, 1974.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: modUltralaser on August 13, 2013, 10:33:52 AM
'I mean how many folks actually remember LMFAO's hit(s)? Honestly, I recall Weird Al more than the New Kids.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Sergeant Rock on August 13, 2013, 10:36:25 AM
You forgot, "The Night Chicago Died," Paper Lace, 1974.

I was just going back twenty years, responding to jut's post.

'I mean how many folks actually remember LMFAO's hit(s)? Honestly, I recall Weird Al more than the New Kids.

I love pop. I keep a list of my favorite songs starting with "Candy Kisses" from 1949, the year I was born  ;D

Sarge
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: modUltralaser on August 13, 2013, 10:38:32 AM
I love pop as well but none of it sticks and all of it is replaceable. Popular and pop are distinct.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Sergeant Rock on August 13, 2013, 10:54:29 AM
I love pop as well but none of it sticks and all of it is replaceable. Popular and pop are distinct.

Maybe it's the time you live in. I feel sorry for you. Pop today sucks big time. For me, though, I had fifty years of great music; the good songs certainly do stick (of course I grew in the golden age: 50s, 60s, so maybe that has something to do with it). Song has always been part of my life; I've always had favorites (and few have faded into insignificance). Hearing a song from years ago transports me instantly back in time. Hearing Joplin sing "Me and Bobby McGee" takes me to Wisconsin, 1971, preparing for my first marriage. "Love is Blue" takes me back to Athens Ohio, 1968, mourning a lost relationship. "Tubthumping" (I wish I could forget! :D ) I'm on my way to BASF and a hellish 8 hours working with corrosive and explosive chemicals for minimum wage in 1997.

Sarge
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: DavidW on August 13, 2013, 10:57:02 AM
Ha that tubthumping takes me back to my freshman year in the dorms! :laugh:
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Brian on August 13, 2013, 02:14:28 PM
And this  :D

http://www.youtube.com/v/lNYcviXK4rg


Sarge

Holy shit. My father brought a cassette of that song back from Germany when he was studying in Hannover in college. It's been a family favorite ever since, and as a teenager I used to freak out more or less any music fan by making them watch the official and very violent Da Da Da music video.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Sergeant Rock on August 15, 2013, 04:52:52 AM
Ha that tubthumping takes me back to my freshman year in the dorms! :laugh:

Holy shit....Da Da Da

And this is another thing pop music does: connects us  :D

Sarge
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on August 15, 2013, 05:58:24 AM
Must be an apt time to bring this back forward:

http://www.youtube.com/v/WpNmIrMMAEQ
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: pencils on August 15, 2013, 10:33:40 AM
Piano music sucks. But I have already said that in another thread.

Plinky plinky Satans.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: The Six on August 15, 2013, 03:44:38 PM
Non-classical edition:

Butthole Surfers' "Electriclarryland" and Failure's "Fantastic Planet" are the best '90s albums.

Japan has produced a big chunk of the world's best rock music, and if it (the good bands) were given serious playtime overseas, it would succeed, despite the language barrier.

If, instead of being a video game song, "Natural Playboy" from Bust a Groove were released during the '70s, it would be considered one of the all-time classics.

"One Hot Minute" is the RHCP's best.

Many modern songs are too long. I'm talking about ones that follow a standard rock/pop song structure. The oldies had it right. You don't need to go longer than 3 minutes, and any songs that are longer do so using tactics like needlessly repeating the chorus again, or dropping in an easy key change. Songs should leave you wanting more, so that you want to replay them, as opposed to exhausting all of their material.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: The new erato on August 15, 2013, 10:33:58 PM
any songs that are longer do so using tactics like needlessly repeating the chorus again, or dropping in an easy key change.
Yes, like the Beatles' A Day in the Life.  >:( >:(
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on August 16, 2013, 03:18:56 AM
Woke up, fell out of bed . . . .
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Ten thumbs on August 16, 2013, 12:58:35 PM
Piano music sucks. But I have already said that in another thread.

Plinky plinky Satans.

Reminds me of my wife's opinion of violin music:

Squeaky squeak, scrape, scrape.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: pencils on August 16, 2013, 04:24:31 PM
Reminds me of my wife's opinion of violin music:

Squeaky squeak, scrape, scrape.

 :D
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Beorn on August 16, 2013, 04:28:29 PM
Piano music sucks. But I have already said that in another thread.

Plinky plinky Satans.

We are no longer friends.  :)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Beorn on August 16, 2013, 05:04:57 PM
Yes, like the Beatles' A Day in the Life.  >:( >:(

Blasphemy.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: TheGSMoeller on August 16, 2013, 05:25:25 PM
I don't mind applause in between movements, I would never initiate it, but it also has never bothered me.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: pencils on August 18, 2013, 01:35:53 PM
We are no longer friends.  :)

*pulls tongues*
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: jochanaan on August 22, 2013, 05:01:07 PM
Must be an apt time to bring this back forward:

http://www.youtube.com/v/WpNmIrMMAEQ
Hmmm...I was prepared to snicker, and I actually did at the beginning--but it really isn't bad.  Of course, lots of great early music was based on troubador and drinking songs...
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: jochanaan on August 22, 2013, 05:02:20 PM
Woke up, fell out of bed . . . .
Move it up to Morrison: "Well I woke up this mornin' and I got myself a beer." ;D
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on August 23, 2013, 03:07:48 AM
Hmmm...I was prepared to snicker, and I actually did at the beginning--but it really isn't bad.  Of course, lots of great early music was based on troubador and drinking songs...

A young lady at the MFA shop had a similar experience. She felt that the organ treatment here transcended the source material  8)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on August 23, 2013, 03:08:34 AM
Move it up to Morrison: "Well I woke up this mornin' and I got myself a beer." ;D

I exult to say it is many a year since I felt anything like that!  :)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on August 23, 2013, 03:08:56 AM
I mean, I enjoy it as an image . . . .
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: jut1972 on August 23, 2013, 05:53:37 AM
Yes, like the Beatles' A Day in the Life.  >:( >:(

Best song ever.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: jochanaan on August 24, 2013, 03:19:22 PM
I exult to say it is many a year since I felt anything like that!  :)
The world rejoices to read this, I'm sure. :o ;D
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Silk on August 26, 2013, 02:17:25 PM
I think Mozart is very over-rated.  Apart from the last few symphonies, a couple of the piano sonatas, the Mass in C, two or three of the operas, the Gran Partita for Winds and some chamber music it's all so sweet and the endless tonality and saccharine quality has me reaching for something more 'savory'.  Like eating a meal that is all black forest cake.  At my stage much of Mozart is too easy-listening for me, but I was a big fan 30 years ago.  Now my musical tastes have matured and I've left him largely behind, apart from the wonderful works I've mentioned.

Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: kyjo on August 26, 2013, 02:48:52 PM
Richard Strauss' music is no more profound than Johann's. Yep, I just said that and I sure as hell mean it. There's such an egotistical quality to his music that I find immensely appalling. Every time I listen to his music, I come out of it feeling cheated. I can almost see the composer smirking at me from his grave, saying "Ha! I got your attention with that opening, now you'll have to listen to half an hour of my note-spinning!" I was listening to Josephslegende the other night and hated it so much I ejected the disc. At first, I thought my dislike for it stems from the fact that it is one of Strauss' lesser pieces, but I read numerous reviews of it by Strauss fans saying it is an unheralded masterpiece worthy of comparison with Strauss' "best works". ::) It continues to baffle me why Strauss' music is so popular. I even think he's more overrated than Mozart. Back to the J. Strauss comparison, give me The Blue Danube any day over Richard's empty, emotionally detached music! :D

*runs for cover*
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Mirror Image on August 26, 2013, 02:52:35 PM
I agree with you, Kyle, about Richard Strauss. Such empty, bloated music. I do have a liking for Elektra and Salome. The Four Last Songs are also quite moving, but that's about it.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: kyjo on August 26, 2013, 02:57:43 PM
I agree with you, Kyle, about Richard Strauss. Such empty, bloated music. I do have a liking for Elektra and Salome. The Four Last Songs are also quite moving, but that's about it.

I wouldn't have posted this if you would like Strauss' music, because you're probably the only member here that agrees with me! :D
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Mirror Image on August 26, 2013, 03:13:03 PM
I wouldn't have posted this if you would like Strauss' music, because you're probably the only member here that agrees with me! :D

There are several members who are huge fans of Strauss, but there are some who don't see what the big deal with his music is either. He's quite the polarizing composer to say the least. :)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Adam of the North(west) on August 26, 2013, 03:57:37 PM
I don't like Strauss much, either. I used to love the Alpine Symphony, but not so much, anymore. It's too long for the material, IMO. After the summit it all bores me. Except the storm section, but that's not quite enough to redeem the descent. A piece with the climax in the middle seems like a poor idea, anyway. I wish the whole piece was half as long. Thus Spoke Zarathustra never clicked with me past the first two movements, which are lovely. Don Juan and Till Eulenspiegal are fun, but that's it. Strauss's orchestration is very colorful, but too dense for prolonged listening. It all seems bloated. The only work by Strauss I really enjoy is Metamorphosen. Try as I might, I've never enjoyed the Four Last Songs. In the end I have to agree with Strauss himself: he was a "first-class second-rate composer."


Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: kyjo on August 26, 2013, 04:14:22 PM
I don't like Strauss much, either. I used to love the Alpine Symphony, but not so much, anymore. It's too long for the material, IMO. After the summit it all bores me. Except the storm section, but that's not quite enough to redeem the descent. A piece with the climax in the middle seems like a poor idea, anyway. I wish the whole piece was half as long. Thus Spoke Zarathustra never clicked with me past the first two movements, which are lovely. Don Juan and Till Eulenspiegal are fun, but that's it. Strauss's orchestration is very colorful, but too dense for prolonged listening. It all seems bloated. The only work by Strauss I really enjoy is Metamorphosen. Try as I might, I've never enjoyed the Four Last Songs. In the end I have to agree with Strauss himself: he was a "first-class second-rate composer."

Ah, what a relief! John is not the only person that agrees with me! :D Your post largely reflects my own feelings on Strauss' music. If there is one Strauss work which I revisit in the near future, it will be Metamorphosen, which you mention is the only piece by Strauss you really enjoy. IIRC you're not the only person, Adam, who isn't particularly fond of Strauss' music that has said Metamorphosen was his only work that "clicked" with them. Since it was inspired by the tragic Dresden bombings rather than something of a fantastic or narrative nature (like most of his other compositions), I'm thinking Strauss actually put his heart into this work, but, as it's been ages since I've heard it, I can't say anything definite. Kinda reminds me of Mozart. There's only one work he wrote in which he connects with the complex range of human emotions, his Requiem.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Brian on August 26, 2013, 06:38:25 PM
I'm actually going to jump aboard the Richard Strauss hate-train too. And you guys have already identified the two Strauss works I prize above all others: Metamorphosen and the Four Last Songs. There's no shame in that, honestly; the Four Last Songs alone would be enough to make a pretty serious case for his greatness and importance, and they make a convenient and highly symbolic "ending" to the "romantic era." But the famous tone poems hold no interest for me.

Note: I don't know the operas.

I'm thinking Strauss actually put his heart into this work, but, as it's been ages since I've heard it, I can't say anything definite. Kinda reminds me of Mozart. There's only one work he wrote in which he connects with the complex range of human emotions, his Requiem.
Good news: this is the Unpopular Opinions thread, so I can't yell at you.
Bad news: I can assign you to listen to the 20th piano concerto and watch Don Giovanni.

I have to say, last week when I was moving my late grandmother's things out of her room in the nursing home, one of her neighbors was playing Mozart's 25th symphony full-blast, the first movement. It had a jarring, disturbing emotional effect on me.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: kishnevi on August 26, 2013, 06:55:09 PM
I'm actually going to jump aboard the Richard Strauss hate-train too. And you guys have already identified the two Strauss works I prize above all others: Metamorphosen and the Four Last Songs. There's no shame in that, honestly; the Four Last Songs alone would be enough to make a pretty serious case for his greatness and importance, and they make a convenient and highly symbolic "ending" to the "romantic era." But the famous tone poems hold no interest for me.

Note: I don't know the operas.
Good news: this is the Unpopular Opinions thread, so I can't yell at you.
Bad news: I can assign you to listen to the 20th piano concerto and watch Don Giovanni.

I have to say, last week when I was moving my late grandmother's things out of her room in the nursing home, one of her neighbors was playing Mozart's 25th symphony full-blast, the first movement. It had a jarring, disturbing emotional effect on me.

You seem to be part of a decide trend here,  in which I join (although I'm more partial to the operas).  Metamorphosen and Four Last Songs, and don't bother with the rest!

The Mozart opera I would assign would be Nozze di Figaro.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Opus106 on August 26, 2013, 09:12:05 PM
I think Mozart is very over-rated.  Apart from the last few symphonies, a couple of the piano sonatas, the Mass in C, two or three of the operas, the Gran Partita for Winds and some chamber music it's all so sweet and the endless tonality and saccharine quality has me reaching for something more 'savory'.  Like eating a meal that is all black forest cake.  At my stage much of Mozart is too easy-listening for me, but I was a big fan 30 years ago.  Now my musical tastes have matured and I've left him largely behind, apart from the wonderful works I've mentioned.

I don't think that's an unpopular opinion, as such. Yes, Mozart is hyped up among the general public (okay, so it's "popular" in that sense), but much of the genius attributed to him by those who know better than the average Joe is mostly the result of his later works, especially the ones you mention and the piano concerti.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Geo Dude on August 27, 2013, 07:09:42 AM
Move it up to Morrison: "Well I woke up this mornin' and I got myself a beer." ;D

:D
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on August 27, 2013, 12:26:37 PM
I don't think that's an unpopular opinion, as such. Yes, Mozart is hyped up among the general public (okay, so it's "popular" in that sense), but much of the genius attributed to him by those who know better than the average Joe is mostly the result of his later works, especially the ones you mention and the piano concerti.

Honestly, this is way off. $:) Among Mozart fans ("those who know better than the average Joe") the list of recognizably accomplished works which predate the "late" period is stacked up like a log-jam.

You'll hardly find a true Mozartian who doesn't enjoy such early works (or early-ish, anyway) as the violin concertos, the early masses, or the serenades (the Haffner in particular).

The "middle" period is populated by such works as Idomeneo, the Posthorn Serenade, and the Sinfonia Concertante for violin and viola (not to mention the first of his "Haydn" string quartets).

And this is just the tip of the iceberg. So much more to explore.


Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Klaze on August 27, 2013, 12:32:38 PM
You seem to be part of a decide trend here,  in which I join (although I'm more partial to the operas).  Metamorphosen and Four Last Songs, and don't bother with the rest!


I'd gladly join this trend, although I really like Till Eulenspiegel as well...
Anyway, perhaps the unpopularity of this opinion on Strauss should be re-evaluated? ;)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: North Star on August 27, 2013, 12:42:39 PM
Honestly, this is way off. $:) Among Mozart fans ("those who know better than the average Joe") the list of recognizably accomplished works which predate the "late" period is stacked up like a log-jam.

You'll hardly find a true Mozartian who doesn't enjoy such early works (or early-ish, anyway) as the violin concertos, the early masses, or the serenades (the Haffner in particular).

The "middle" period is populated by such works as Idomeneo, the Posthorn Serenade, and the Sinfonia Concertante for violin and viola (not to mention the first of his "Haydn" string quartets).

And this is just the tip of the iceberg. So much more to explore.
+1.

 
I'm actually going to jump aboard the Richard Strauss hate-train too. And you guys have already identified the two Strauss works I prize above all others: Metamorphosen and the Four Last Songs. There's no shame in that, honestly; the Four Last Songs alone would be enough to make a pretty serious case for his greatness and importance, and they make a convenient and highly symbolic "ending" to the "romantic era." But the famous tone poems hold no interest for me.
+1. (though I need to hear the operas)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: TheGSMoeller on August 27, 2013, 12:49:31 PM
Popular or Unpopular, the music of Richard Strauss is what opened my ears to the world of classical over 20 years ago, I will always credit him with this and will forever consider him one of my favorite composers. I find his music exhilarating, expansive and rewarding. Also my favorite scores to follow are from Strauss.

And it's alright by me, one of the biggest Strauss supporters here, if someone doesn't agree with my analysis of Strauss. But one day when you need a musical laugh, checkout Till. When you need motivation or extra courage, listen to Heldenleben. When you're in the need to travel somewhere far away, put on Alpine. When you're in the mood for a good story, play Quixote or even Domestica. How about a virtuosos concerto, try the horn concertos. Dramatic opera? Covered, Elektra and Salome. Challenge the soul and mind with Metamorphosen. Or relax your body with the Duett-Concertino.

Long live classical music, my friends.  :)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Brian on August 27, 2013, 12:53:46 PM
How about a virtuosos concerto, try the horn concertos.
Oh! I forgot, I really like the Burleske.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Sergeant Rock on August 27, 2013, 12:54:20 PM
Honestly, this is way off. $:) Among Mozart fans ("those who know better than the average Joe") the list of recognizably accomplished works which predate the "late" period is stacked up like a log-jam.

You'll hardly find a true Mozartian who doesn't enjoy such early works (or early-ish, anyway) as the violin concertos, the early masses, or the serenades (the Haffner in particular).

The "middle" period is populated by such works as Idomeneo, the Posthorn Serenade, and the Sinfonia Concertante for violin and viola (not to mention the first of his "Haydn" string quartets).

And this is just the tip of the iceberg. So much more to explore.

Popular or Unpopular, the music of Richard Strauss is what opened my ears to the world of classical over 20 years ago, I will always credit him with this and will forever consider him one of my favorite composers. I find his music exhilarating, expansive and rewarding. Also my favorite scores to follow are from Strauss.

And it's alright by me, one of the biggest Strauss supporters here, if someone doesn't agree with my analysis of Strauss. But one day when you need a musical laugh, checkout Till. When you need motivation or extra courage, listen to Heldenleben. When you're in the need to travel somewhere far away, put on Alpine. When you're in the mood for a good story, play Quixote or even Domestica. How about a virtuosos concerto, try the horn concertos. Dramatic opera? Covered, Elektra and Salome. Challenge the soul and mind with Metamorphosen. Or relax your body with the Duett-Concertino.

Long live classical music, my friends.  :)

This being the Unpopular Opinion thread, I didn't feel right about contradicting the, uh..wrong-headed opinions about Strauss and Mozart on display here. But I'm glad you guys did  ;D

Sarge
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on August 27, 2013, 01:13:14 PM
This being the Unpopular Opinion thread, I didn't feel right about contradicting the, uh..wrong-headed opinions about Strauss and Mozart on display here. But I'm glad you guys did  ;D

Sarge

 ;D

The Strauss bit got to me too but I bit my tongue. Couldn't hold it for the Mozart, though... 0:)



Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Mirror Image on August 27, 2013, 02:24:16 PM
I'm actually going to jump aboard the Richard Strauss hate-train too. And you guys have already identified the two Strauss works I prize above all others: Metamorphosen and the Four Last Songs. There's no shame in that, honestly; the Four Last Songs alone would be enough to make a pretty serious case for his greatness and importance, and they make a convenient and highly symbolic "ending" to the "romantic era." But the famous tone poems hold no interest for me.

I wouldn't say I hate Richard Strauss' music, but he's definitely not a composer I frequently listen to or even think about other than to say I don't care for his music. :)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: jochanaan on August 27, 2013, 06:09:38 PM
I wouldn't say I hate Richard Strauss' music, but he's definitely not a composer I frequently listen to or even think about other than to say I don't care for his music. :)
But where would record producers and Stanley Kubrick be without the opening to Also sprach Zarathustra? ;D

I'm not as fond of Strauss as I might be; I can do without most of his late music (even the oboe concerto!).  I have to admit, though, that he struck gold with the end of Tod und Verklaerung.  Yeah, it's manipulative--but it gets me every time.  Weird. :)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Mirror Image on August 27, 2013, 06:11:42 PM
But where would record producers and Stanley Kubrick be without the opening to Also sprach Zarathustra? ;D

Haha...that's true! :laugh:
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Opus106 on August 27, 2013, 09:56:11 PM
Honestly, this is way off. $:) Among Mozart fans ("those who know better than the average Joe") the list of recognizably accomplished works which predate the "late" period is stacked up like a log-jam.

You'll hardly find a true Mozartian who doesn't enjoy such early works (or early-ish, anyway) as the violin concertos, the early masses, or the serenades (the Haffner in particular).

The "middle" period is populated by such works as Idomeneo, the Posthorn Serenade, and the Sinfonia Concertante for violin and viola (not to mention the first of his "Haydn" string quartets).

And this is just the tip of the iceberg. So much more to explore.

In my defence, I said 'later'. Much of Mozart's aura as a child genius was thanks to his father's impressive PR work. So while a lot of people may think everything starting from K. 1 is a gem (and he wrote a LOT! -- lovely music, much of it, no doubt), he began to bloom into the composer that we adore only in his late teens. 15 years later, he died. 15 years in an average life-span may be considered the 'late' period, but for Mozart it was over a third of his life. I'm just making a distinction between the 'performing monkey' era, which has contributed a lot to his popular image as a 'genius', and the other part, which is what you are (and I was, implicitly) referring to.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: mc ukrneal on August 28, 2013, 12:51:10 AM
This being the Unpopular Opinion thread, I didn't feel right about contradicting the, uh..wrong-headed opinions about Strauss and Mozart on display here. But I'm glad you guys did  ;D

Sarge
Post of the day!! :)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Florestan on August 28, 2013, 08:25:13 AM
I think Mozart is very over-rated.  Apart from the last few symphonies, a couple of the piano sonatas, the Mass in C, two or three of the operas, the Gran Partita for Winds and some chamber music it's all so sweet and the endless tonality and saccharine quality has me reaching for something more 'savory'.  Like eating a meal that is all black forest cake.  At my stage much of Mozart is too easy-listening for me, but I was a big fan 30 years ago.  Now my musical tastes have matured and I've left him largely behind, apart from the wonderful works I've mentioned.

Mozart-bashing, unpopular? Hardly ever.  ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on August 28, 2013, 08:37:06 AM
In my defence, I said 'later'. Much of Mozart's aura as a child genius was thanks to his father's impressive PR work. So while a lot of people may think everything starting from K. 1 is a gem (and he wrote a LOT! -- lovely music, much of it, no doubt), he began to bloom into the composer that we adore only in his late teens. 15 years later, he died. 15 years in an average life-span may be considered the 'late' period, but for Mozart it was over a third of his life. I'm just making a distinction between the 'performing monkey' era, which has contributed a lot to his popular image as a 'genius', and the other part, which is what you are (and I was, implicitly) referring to.

What you're describing is Mozart's "juvenilia". His juvenile years. There's little point as I see it in knocking him for that (or any composer for that matter).

Post-juvenilia Mozart is bursting at the seams with extremely fine works, right from the get-go.


Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: ibanezmonster on August 28, 2013, 01:26:54 PM
I understand the "egotistical" quality of Strauss' music- it might not be intentional, but I get that sense when I listen to it, which I don't get with Mahler, Wagner, or Bruckner. Maybe his disposition was a bit too sane to be writing Late Romantic music that gets under your skin, like the music of the other three. I like his music, but it doesn't have that edge to it.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: otare on August 28, 2013, 10:39:15 PM
I don't know if it is an unpopular opinion, but I have just been listening to the box of Van Cliburn's recordings, and I am wondering why I bothered. What an overrated pianist! Very limited repertoire, and from what I hear he only knew how to play Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov. His Beethoven and Chopin is heavy-handed and totally out of style. His Brahms and Debussy is boring. He didn't make many recordings, and I really wonder why he was allowed to make any at all.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: The Six on August 29, 2013, 05:59:46 AM
I haven't bothered with his recordings, but it is possible that he coasted on that Tchaikovsky Competition win for his whole career. Pianists who stick to the Chopin/Rach/Liszt, etc group of Romantic composers are a dime a dozen, and typically demonstrate a limited range of creativity.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Sammy on August 29, 2013, 08:30:40 AM
I don't know if it is an unpopular opinion, but I have just been listening to the box of Van Cliburn's recordings, and I am wondering why I bothered. What an overrated pianist! Very limited repertoire, and from what I hear he only knew how to play Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov. His Beethoven and Chopin is heavy-handed and totally out of style. His Brahms and Debussy is boring. He didn't make many recordings, and I really wonder why he was allowed to make any at all.

Must be that little competition he won that made him an overnight global sensation.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on August 29, 2013, 09:19:58 AM
I don't know if it is an unpopular opinion, but I have just been listening to the box of Van Cliburn's recordings, and I am wondering why I bothered. What an overrated pianist! Very limited repertoire, and from what I hear he only knew how to play Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov. His Beethoven and Chopin is heavy-handed and totally out of style. His Brahms and Debussy is boring. He didn't make many recordings, and I really wonder why he was allowed to make any at all.

I haven't bothered with his recordings, but it is possible that he coasted on that Tchaikovsky Competition win for his whole career. Pianists who stick to the Chopin/Rach/Liszt, etc group of Romantic composers are a dime a dozen, and typically demonstrate a limited range of creativity.

Van Cliburn suffered from a debilitating bout of performance nerves that dogged him his entire career. He didn't ask for his instant stardom after his Tchaikovsky competition win but at that particular moment in history he somehow managed to overcome his demons and put on a show that won over probably one of the most critical of audiences (Moscow) in a competition that was - to say the least - close to the hearts of the hometown crew. During the Cold War.

You want extreme pressure-cooker, that was it.

Of course, post-competition things changed and his performance apprehensions took control and things were never the same. And no doubt this carried over into the recording studio.

It's actually a sad tale but one that's not deserving derision. ::) 
 
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: otare on August 29, 2013, 10:52:25 AM
You are probably right. I'm sure there are reasons for his poor performances on record. Let's just say that his recordings are not of a very high standard for whatever reason.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on August 29, 2013, 11:09:30 AM
You are probably right. I'm sure there are reasons for his poor performances on record. Let's just say that his recordings are not of a very high standard for whatever reason.

Yeah, the halo of the Tchaikovsky competition win seems to carry a lot of weight but there's still just Cliburn the man to consider.


Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: otare on August 30, 2013, 07:55:26 AM
And suddenly he redeems himself with a fantastic recording of Rachmaninovs 2. piano sonata. Rachmaninov was truly his soulmate.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: jochanaan on August 30, 2013, 03:28:05 PM
What about Van's live performances?  Perhaps he's one of those musicians whose best work was done outside the studio... (I've never seen him in concert, and I'm trying to think if I've ever heard a broadcast of him playing live--none comes to mind...)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on August 30, 2013, 03:29:50 PM
And suddenly he redeems himself with a fantastic recording of Rachmaninovs 2. piano sonata. Rachmaninov was truly his soulmate.

 :D


Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Superhorn on August 30, 2013, 03:33:53 PM
    People who are repelled by the supposed bombast and  egotism of Ein Heldenleben  are missing the point .  Few realize that it's actually a humorous and satirical work filled with in jokes .  In it Strauss poles fun at the  critics who were always trashing his music , and the  egotistical heroism is entirely tongue in cheek .
   
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: xochitl on August 30, 2013, 09:45:14 PM
i can never take gershwin seriously and his music bores me more often than not

sometimes i think handel was miles better than bach

i can't stand schumann's solo piano music

rachmaninov was a better melodist than tchaikovsky [and i adore tchaikovsky!]

frank zappa was one of the greatest composers of the 20th century

 8)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Silk on September 02, 2013, 02:38:31 AM
Gershwin didn't write 'classical music' - his was music for the theater, essentially.  Just thought I'd mention that.

Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: DavidW on September 02, 2013, 03:01:30 AM
Gershwin didn't write 'classical music' - his was music for the theater, essentially.  Just thought I'd mention that.

Wagner and Verdi wrote music for the theater, I suppose they didn't compose classical music either? :-[
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: The new erato on September 02, 2013, 03:06:08 AM
i can never take gershwin seriously and his music bores me more often than not

Most of it was never meant to be taken "seriously"; neither was Mozart's Divertimenti, Strauss' waltzes or Haydn's symphonies. That doesn't make it lesser music.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: The new erato on September 02, 2013, 03:07:53 AM
Wagner and Verdi wrote music for the theater, I suppose they didn't compose classical music either? :-[
They didn't write for the theatre, but for the opera. Maybe I'm nitpicking here, but for me there is a difference.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Sammy on September 02, 2013, 11:37:39 AM
i can't stand schumann's solo piano music

And here I am feeling that his solo music represents Schumann at his best. 8)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on September 02, 2013, 12:36:40 PM
And here I am feeling that his solo music represents Schumann at his best. 8)

Ditto.


Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Parsifal on September 02, 2013, 12:57:20 PM
And here I am feeling that his solo music represents Schumann at his best. 8)

No contradiction if he hates Schumann's other works even more.

It has taken me some effort to come to appreciate Schumann's piano music, although it was clear from the beginning that the solo piano works were the his more original and distinctive.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: xochitl on September 02, 2013, 10:41:39 PM
just wanna clarify i really like schumann's chamber and orchestral music

the piano stuff just sounds to me like a crazy person flying free
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Opus106 on September 02, 2013, 10:55:58 PM
the piano stuff just sounds to me like a crazy person flying free

That's the nub. ;)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: The new erato on September 02, 2013, 11:06:02 PM
the piano stuff just sounds to me like a crazy person flying free
That's what makes it so great. The best artists often aren't the most normal people. That's the nub as Opus106 said.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: TheGSMoeller on September 03, 2013, 01:39:22 AM
Schumann's best work is Frauenliebe und Leben, not sure if that qualifies as unpopular, but it's my opinion.  :)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: dyn on September 03, 2013, 01:53:34 AM
Schumann's best work is Frauenliebe und Leben, not sure if that qualifies as unpopular, but it's my opinion.  :)

I have fond memories of that work, it being the first time (that i can recall) that a piece of music moved me to tears... although I don't seem to actually have a recording of it at present... hmm. Should change that.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Florestan on September 03, 2013, 05:39:06 AM
That's what makes it so great. The best artists often aren't the most normal people. That's the nub as Opus106 said.

+1.

On topic: Schumann's best work is the first of the Three Romances for Oboe and Piano op. 93.  ;D
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: max on September 05, 2013, 05:39:26 PM
Since Vivaldi composed the same concerto six hundred times according to that illustrious genius of the 20th century Igor Stravinsky, I've memorized all his concertos in 3 movements...even the ones I haven't heard and found it amazingly stimulating compared to all it variety found in Igor.

It's the perfect example of making the most out of the least in V's case as compared to making the least out of the most. I always prefer "economy" in music.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: jochanaan on September 05, 2013, 05:54:11 PM
Since Vivaldi composed the same concerto six hundred times according to that illustrious genius of the 20th century Igor Stravinsky, I've memorized all his concertos in 3 movements...even the ones I haven't heard and found it amazingly stimulating compared to all it variety found in Igor.

It's the perfect example of making the most out of the least in V's case as compared to making the least out of the most. I always prefer "economy" in music.
Within those "six hundred" concertos is amazing variety, compelling drama and deep heart.  None of us who love Vivaldi has to apologize or defend him.  I say only, Listen! 8)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: max on September 05, 2013, 07:50:06 PM
Within those "six hundred" concertos is amazing variety, compelling drama and deep heart.  None of us who love Vivaldi has to apologize or defend him.  I say only, Listen! 8)

Precisely! And if I don't have 600 concertos I probably have 599 of which no two are the same. His religious works too often show a profundity and dept which doesn't easily yield beside many of the works of Bach and Handel. Each of these giants, which includes Vivaldi, has their own unmistakable sound signature.   
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: jut1972 on September 06, 2013, 04:09:34 AM
Yeah, the halo of the Tchaikovsky competition win seems to carry a lot of weight but there's still just Cliburn the man to consider.

That Van Cliburn box is a bit of a chore to get through.  Kept dipping in and out but doubt any CD will get a second spin.  When I can tell a performance isnt all that then it really isnt all that.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Florestan on September 06, 2013, 10:59:51 AM
Within those "six hundred" concertos is amazing variety, compelling drama and deep heart.  None of us who love Vivaldi has to apologize or defend him.  I say only, Listen! 8)

Precisely! And if I don't have 600 concertos I probably have 599 of which no two are the same. His religious works too often show a profundity and dept which doesn't easily yield beside many of the works of Bach and Handel. Each of these giants, which includes Vivaldi, has their own unmistakable sound signature.   

+1.

But then again, Tartini and Locatelli are far beyond and above Vivaldi!  ;D
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: max on September 06, 2013, 02:05:07 PM
+1.

But then again, Tartini and Locatelli are far beyond and above Vivaldi!  ;D

Definitely got to get more Locatelli and especially Tartini. The older I get the more I like baroque. I wonder if there's a relationship?
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: jochanaan on September 06, 2013, 02:42:37 PM
Definitely got to get more Locatelli and especially Tartini. The older I get the more I like baroque. I wonder if there's a relationship?
I hope it's not because, like me, you're going "baroque." ;D
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: amw on January 15, 2014, 04:44:55 PM
This is not my unpopular opinion, but it's one with which I broadly agree -- with reservations -- and (I think) a more thoughtful one than average. Thought it might be interesting to share to see if it provokes any substantive reactions.

http://archive.spectator.co.uk/article/26th-august-2000/41/music

The presentation of the text, stripped of formatting and paragraph breaks, is subpar; I recommend scrolling down to the scanned image from the original magazine, on the right, and clicking on "Zoom page".
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: North Star on January 15, 2014, 09:56:02 PM
I can already feel the DSCH 10 sinking and Shosty fading...
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on January 16, 2014, 04:39:13 AM
Thanks for posting this!

There's a lot of opinion in there, to which he (she?) is entitled. The thesis (I don't care for it much, so I predict it is destined for obscurity) is but the most recent [well, no . . . that was published back in August 2000] tedious instance of wishful thinking in print.

This line, though, is close to intelligent discussion:

Quote from: Robin Holloway
The terrible nature of Shostakovich's circumstances mustn't prevent a balanced response to his actual notes.

I broadly agree that there is, in the promotional activities, too much emphasis on the biography.  I agree that the important thing is the music, and that lurid biographical detail will not make the music great, if the music of itself be not great.

Where I disagree, of course, is in contending that when a good balance is achieved, the great value of such a significant portion of the catalogue will stand intact.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on January 16, 2014, 05:34:39 AM
In principle, I agree.  In the free market of musical ideas, arguably Shostakovich's stock is benefiting from a bubble.  The question (which the free market will determine over time) is, the actual value of the concern.  IMO, Holloway -- indeed, his entire apparent purpose is this thesis -- tendentiously undervalues it;  i.e., Holloway does not strike for balance, either.  Or, like Fox News, his idea of "balance" is, anyone who agrees with him  ;)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on January 16, 2014, 07:53:33 AM
Ooh, I shall have a look at that 'un there . . . .
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: jochanaan on January 16, 2014, 07:00:17 PM
This is not my unpopular opinion, but it's one with which I broadly agree -- with reservations -- and (I think) a more thoughtful one than average. Thought it might be interesting to share to see if it provokes any substantive reactions.

http://archive.spectator.co.uk/article/26th-august-2000/41/music

The presentation of the text, stripped of formatting and paragraph breaks, is subpar; I recommend scrolling down to the scanned image from the original magazine, on the right, and clicking on "Zoom page".
I disagree.  I sense that the very bleakness that the article's author decries is part of the music's greatness.  Yet certainly there is plenty of life too.  May I direct your attention to the Festive Overture, the finale of Symphonies #10 and #13, and the whole of Symphonies #1 and #4 for examples of life and joy in DSCH's oeuvre. :)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: 71 dB on January 17, 2014, 03:31:10 AM
I thought I'd contribute this article to the general discussion that revolves around the claim that classical music is elitist or is an endangered genre or is irrelevant to most people.

Whenever I hear words like “relevant” or “important,” I always want to ask, “relevant or important to whom?” (http://www.newmusicbox.org/articles/how-to-be-culturally-relevant/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=how-to-be-culturally-relevant)

Classical music has been elitist (entertainment for upper classes) and it has elitist image in people's mind for that. However, classical music isn't elitist anymore. Today internet connection, curiosity and an open mind are all you need to browse the treasures of classical music. In western countries the internet connection part is easy. Curiosity and an open mind are harder and therefor important to work for.

Since classical music isn't elitist anymore, why do we still have the categorical separaration between classical music and "other music"? Music genres are different anyway. Country is so different from hip hop and Reggae is so different from death metal. Why can't we cram classical music amongst "other music"? It would ease the prejudice of classical music being "unsuitable for me".

Fans of classical music should not mock popular music in general. That will only widen the gap between "elitist" fans of classical music and fans of popular music. Calling popular music vulgar is not different from calling classical music elitist. It's the same kind of narrow-mindness both ways.

Sure, most popular music is bad. The main reason for that is it's "manufactured" to meet the preferences of people whose preferences were controlled by music that was "manufactured" to meet the preferences of people whose preferences were controlled by music that was ... (degenerative feedback). Luckily there's opposite feedbacks too to balance thing. That's why there's always artists whose music is good because the degenerative feedback was been weaker.

Is Fauré's Pavane better music than Katy Perry's Firework? How many hours Fauré spend composing his Pavane? How many hours were spend to produce Katy Perry's Firework? So far Fauré has survived the test of time. Katy Perry's Firework will probably been forgotten within 20 years. In spite of this, I must say I get more out of Firework than Pavane and I say this as a Fauré fan. Fauré has of course much better works but Pavane is classified as "elitist" music. The quality of Pavane and Firework is very different. In fact, to me it's meaningless to compare these to because it's apples and oranges. I listen to both Fauré and Katy. That makes my life worth living.  0:)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: jut1972 on January 17, 2014, 02:30:34 PM
I think elitist is the wrong word.  Overly intellectual is more apt.
Why do we debate the merits of this performance or that performance?  The reviews which harp on about departure from metronome readings as if it's really important and vital to the merit of the piece.

Why do you listen to music?  To relax, to enjoy.. to make an emotional connection with the music itself?
The intellectual debate we become bogged down in just widens the gap between us and that state of being.

You don't see pop fans debating the merits of a Beatles Hamburg 62 performance or a 66 Wembley Stadium gig of the same song, they just enjoy the craft. 

The elitism is intellectual flim flam, and new joiners to this wonderful world need to steer clear to avoid it's traps.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: North Star on January 17, 2014, 02:33:56 PM
You don't see pop fans debating the merits of a Beatles Hamburg 62 performance or a 66 Wembley Stadium gig of the same song, they just enjoy the craft.

You haven't looked in the right places.

(http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/crazy_straws.png) (http://xkcd.com/1095/)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: The Six on January 17, 2014, 08:58:13 PM
Music isn't elitist, it's the people who are. You can easily find elitists in pop/rock music circles - people who think they have better taste because they prefer one band over another, liked a certain band before they got popular, etc.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Madiel on January 17, 2014, 10:15:03 PM
You don't see pop fans debating the merits of a Beatles Hamburg 62 performance or a 66 Wembley Stadium gig of the same song, they just enjoy the craft. 

Are you kidding? Come join me on a Tori Amos forum some time and you will see people nominating favourite performances of particular songs from a selection of sometimes several hundred options.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: starrynight on January 18, 2014, 02:47:34 AM
Music isn't elitist, it's the people who are. You can easily find elitists in pop/rock music circles - people who think they have better taste because they prefer one band over another, liked a certain band before they got popular, etc.

Inverse snobbery is more prevalent in popular music I think, those who want to go with the crowd and are suspicious of anyone who knows something that is really less known.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: starrynight on January 18, 2014, 02:59:18 AM
Classical music has been elitist (entertainment for upper classes) and it has elitist image in people's mind for that. However, classical music isn't elitist anymore. Today internet connection, curiosity and an open mind are all you need to browse the treasures of classical music. In western countries the internet connection part is easy. Curiosity and an open mind are harder and therefor important to work for.

Since classical music isn't elitist anymore, why do we still have the categorical separaration between classical music and "other music"? Music genres are different anyway. Country is so different from hip hop and Reggae is so different from death metal. Why can't we cram classical music amongst "other music"? It would ease the prejudice of classical music being "unsuitable for me".

Fans of classical music should not mock popular music in general. That will only widen the gap between "elitist" fans of classical music and fans of popular music. Calling popular music vulgar is not different from calling classical music elitist. It's the same kind of narrow-mindness both ways.

Sure, most popular music is bad. The main reason for that is it's "manufactured" to meet the preferences of people whose preferences were controlled by music that was "manufactured" to meet the preferences of people whose preferences were controlled by music that was ... (degenerative feedback). Luckily there's opposite feedbacks too to balance thing. That's why there's always artists whose music is good because the degenerative feedback was been weaker.

Is Fauré's Pavane better music than Katy Perry's Firework? How many hours Fauré spend composing his Pavane? How many hours were spend to produce Katy Perry's Firework? So far Fauré has survived the test of time. Katy Perry's Firework will probably been forgotten within 20 years. In spite of this, I must say I get more out of Firework than Pavane and I say this as a Fauré fan. Fauré has of course much better works but Pavane is classified as "elitist" music. The quality of Pavane and Firework is very different. In fact, to me it's meaningless to compare these to because it's apples and oranges. I listen to both Fauré and Katy. That makes my life worth living.  0:)

I agree with a great deal of this.  It's just that I'm not sure necessarily the more time spent on something the better and more long lasting it will be.  That probably relates to the idea that the bigger and more ambitious something is the better it is supposed to be, which I think is faulty logic.  There's plenty of overwrought big works which because of their ambition have plenty of faults, and smaller less ambitious pieces could be better in some ways in their achievement.

As you say no point comparing music in different styles, just enjoy the best of every style.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: 71 dB on January 18, 2014, 03:36:33 AM
You can easily find elitists in pop/rock music circles - people who think they have better taste because they prefer one band over another, liked a certain band before they got popular, etc.

Yes, it's common to say you prefer the music of a band before they got very popular. Sometimes there's ground for that if the band has compromised their art for commercial success.

Another common thing is to prefer "early stuff" over "later stuff". People let the early work define the artist for them meaning change/progress is almost prohibited. For example it's common among Tangerine Dream fans to say the band went downhill after the Virgin years. When I got into Tangerine Dream 6 years ago, first I avoided the releases of 90's because so many fans say it's sucks (it has flamengo guitar and saxophone blah blah...). Well, when I finally explored those releases I didn't find them bad at all, on the contrary I was pleased how different the music was compared to Tangerine Dream's music of 70's and 80's. It was just different, some kind of energetic "rocking" new age. Tangerine Dream has been making music for over 40 years now. Of course they have gone thru many phases and styles. Otherwise they would not be creative.

There's sad elitism/snobbism among the many genres and subgenres of underground electronic dance music. House DJs doen't play Trance and Old Skool DJs don't play Neurofunk. Genres and subgenres get inbred, dull and deprived. Artists balancing between underground and mainstream are often the most interesting. They are creative and have the edge of underground but also allow themselves various styles.
 
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: 71 dB on January 18, 2014, 04:01:21 AM
It's just that I'm not sure necessarily the more time spent on something the better and more long lasting it will be.

Well, "silly" pop songs can sometimes be serious creative process by very talented individuals. The fact that these pop songs will be forgotten within a few decades in spite of their quality is because something else (new music) will be marketed to people and hardly anyone will be interested of what happened few decades earlier. Even classical music suffers from this. The music of Philipp Wolfrum (1854-1919) is pretty much forgotten.

As you say no point comparing music in different styles, just enjoy the best of every style.

That's why I have been on the quest to find the best of every style for the last 15-20 years. Life is too short to find all of it but who cares?  :P
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: jut1972 on January 18, 2014, 05:58:26 AM
71db, I think you'll appreciate this:

http://research.google.com/bigpicture/music/#
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Brian on January 18, 2014, 06:03:16 AM
Are you kidding? Come join me on a Tori Amos forum some time and you will see people nominating favourite performances of particular songs from a selection of sometimes several hundred options.

Yup, or the need to collect every Miles Davis live album and debate about which solos are the best-improvised.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: starrynight on January 18, 2014, 06:10:32 AM
People can actually be completely ignorant of earlier music and just jump on board when somebody gets hyped like that's the cool thing to do.  And then they all crowd together and pat each other on the back and reassure each other that the hyped album is as good as they say it is.  That's what annoys me most about popular music now.  That's what happened with, for example, Oneohtrix Point Never's Replica.  I don't actually get his stuff from that album onwards at all.  Fashion is just like a kind of peer pressure and it's very evident with young people and popular music.  I'm not sure it's as big in classical music, the focus is more diffuse for more people with the centuries of music.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on January 18, 2014, 09:53:00 AM
Why do we debate the merits of this performance or that performance?  The reviews which harp on about departure from metronome readings as if it's really important and vital to the merit of the piece.

I don't think there's necessarily a single answer to this question.

One of the answers, though, is the natural process of increased discernment, the longer one lives with music.  Back at an early age, some of us might not have known the difference in tone between a clarinet and a trumpet.  A lifelong engagement with music implies (or I think it ought, anyway) a never-ending game of learning to discern more and more.  (What one does with the differences which one learns to discern, can be quite another matter.)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Sammy on January 18, 2014, 11:04:01 AM
Well, "silly" pop songs can sometimes be serious creative process by very talented individuals. The fact that these pop songs will be forgotten within a few decades in spite of their quality is because something else (new music) will be marketed to people and hardly anyone will be interested of what happened few decades earlier. Even classical music suffers from this. The music of Philipp Wolfrum (1854-1919) is pretty much forgotten.

Who is he?
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: The new erato on January 18, 2014, 11:35:12 AM
Who is he?
Exactly.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: 71 dB on January 18, 2014, 04:15:27 PM
71db, I think you'll appreciate this:

http://research.google.com/bigpicture/music/#

Yeah, thanks. It's cool. Never realised jazz was that big up until 60's.  ???

Who is he?

Philipp Wolfrum was Bavarian organist/composer and a friend of Richard Strauss and Max Reger. Wolfrum supported Reger's music and gave Reger's funeral oration. Elgar admired Wolfrum, whose Weinachtsmysterium he conducted in 1901 at a Worcestershire Philharmonic Society concert.

There's one disc of Wolfrum's organ sonatas (Martin Sander/MDG) and I have it.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: kishnevi on January 18, 2014, 06:01:11 PM
Yes, it's common to say you prefer the music of a band before they got very popular. Sometimes there's ground for that if the band has compromised their art for commercial success.

Another common thing is to prefer "early stuff" over "later stuff". People let the early work define the artist for them meaning change/progress is almost prohibited. For example it's common among Tangerine Dream fans to say the band went downhill after the Virgin years.


And to illustrate your point from another direction,  there are pop/rock musicians who don't change enough, and who produce, if not replicas of their early stuff ,  songs at least remarkably similar to their earlier work.   Case in point--Bruce Springsteen,  whose basic style has not (to my ears) changed fundamentally since I was first a fan of his back in the late 70s/early 80s--and who went on to produce music that might be substantially varied, but not substantially different, from the songs he produced then.  For me, his best album was probably The River.  As a result,  I stopped following him closely, and now when I go back to the stuff I loved back in my twenties,  I found it somewhat stale and dull--apparently I've changed enough that what appealed to me then does not now, or at least only intermittently. 
And now his latest release is actually a compilation of recordings from throughout his career,  originally rejected, or now simply covered in new performances, as if he's admitting he has nothing new to say at this point.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: 71 dB on January 19, 2014, 04:32:56 AM
And to illustrate your point from another direction,  there are pop/rock musicians who don't change enough, and who produce, if not replicas of their early stuff ,  songs at least remarkably similar to their earlier work.   Case in point--Bruce Springsteen,  whose basic style has not (to my ears) changed fundamentally since I was first a fan of his back in the late 70s/early 80s--and who went on to produce music that might be substantially varied, but not substantially different, from the songs he produced then.  For me, his best album was probably The River.  As a result,  I stopped following him closely, and now when I go back to the stuff I loved back in my twenties,  I found it somewhat stale and dull--apparently I've changed enough that what appealed to me then does not now, or at least only intermittently. 
And now his latest release is actually a compilation of recordings from throughout his career,  originally rejected, or now simply covered in new performances, as if he's admitting he has nothing new to say at this point.

Well, I have never been a Bruce Springsteen fan. I think I have heard some of his song from 25 years back when he probably had the most successful phase of his career. Those songs don't interest me a bit. It's music for people who have different taste I have. Bruce Springsteen must be very good at what he does but it doesn't seem to for me.

Now, I'm not surpriced to hear this from someone who has been following Bruce Springsteen's career. What you say makes perfect sense to me. It corresponds with the image* I have of Bruce Springsteen.

When exploring new artists I always try to "see" beyond the song I am hearing because one track is always just a part of the whole picture. I'm asking myself what kind person/group of people would produce this kind of music? What kind of music could they make? It seems one can deduct a lot from just one track! I am a bit surprised about this. Let's say you hear the biggest hit from nth album of  band X (usually it's one of the biggest hits you hear on radio or so). It's easy to find out when this band started, how old the members are and when their nth album was released. Biggest hits are often more "radio friendly" than other songs on an album. So, you can predict the tone of the whole album.

Okay, so you know when the members where born. From this you can derive what kind of influences they had. From the song you heard you can derive what influences are prominent (aah, these guys are influenced by blue grass masters etc.). Okay, but what kind of people who have these influences would produce this kind of song for their nth album that was released in year Y, y years after they started as a band? This is fuzzy logic and human brain is extremely good at solving fuzzy equations if one is willing to use their head. All the music, artists and bands you have explored before provide you with a "data space" that helps you form a fuzzy solution to the question.

The answer you come up can be badly skewed, but it may tell you already whether the artist in question is worth your time. If you feel it is, you can explore a bit more. The more songs you hear, the more accurate solution you can "calculate".

In my case this fuzzy logic method works well (not 100% but over 50% of the time), much better than taking recommendations from other people. Another benefit is that if your fuzzy solution of a band is accurate, you may be able "predict" changes in style etc so that the new album of band X isn't that shocking to you. You where ready for it!


*Here "image" means the image people have of things they don't know much about and/or don't understand much.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: epicous on January 19, 2014, 07:52:47 AM
Today classical musicians can not improvise on their instruments as the past instrumentists did.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: kishnevi on January 19, 2014, 06:46:31 PM

When exploring new artists I always try to "see" beyond the song I am hearing because one track is always just a part of the whole picture. I'm asking myself what kind person/group of people would produce this kind of music? What kind of music could they make?
[interesting but too long for a quote discussion of fuzzy logic cut because the reader can find it two replies above--JS]
In my case this fuzzy logic method works well (not 100% but over 50% of the time), much better than taking recommendations from other people. Another benefit is that if your fuzzy solution of a band is accurate, you may be able "predict" changes in style etc so that the new album of band X isn't that shocking to you. You where ready for it!

My problem with that approach is that I usually don't know enough about the background of the musicians involved to parse any of that information out; nor, since most of my listening to pop/rock music is in the form of background music/music while I'm driving,  do I pay attention to any of the barest things like genre and lyrics.  Even as a kid, my listening was overwhelmingly classical and opera, and much of pop/rock even of that era simply passed me by.  Was musician X influenced by bluegrass in his youth?  Heck, I'm not sure I could say what bluegrass is, to differentiate it from, eg.  country western/country rock/rockabilly music.

I do find that knowing the opinions of other people about particular performances does help me predict my reaction to that performance,  if I know enough about their tastes to begin with and how they compare with me.  Your opinions have no predictive value for me at the moment because, beyond your opinion of Elgar and "pop", I don't know much of your musical tastes, so I can't say if the fact that you like composer T's Symphony No. N indicates that I would or would not like it in my turn.  John (Mirror Image), OTOH,  does have predictive value, since I know he seems to have similar tastes to mine,  once I take into account that his tolerance of "modern" (=not traditional tonality) music is far higher than mine.  So if he likes that Symphony No. N,  my ears  perk up, so to speak. But this is a measure of familiarity with people's tastes, and nothing more.

Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: 71 dB on January 19, 2014, 11:07:53 PM
My problem with that approach is that I usually don't know enough about the background of the musicians involved to parse any of that information out; nor, since most of my listening to pop/rock music is in the form of background music/music while I'm driving,  do I pay attention to any of the barest things like genre and lyrics.  Even as a kid, my listening was overwhelmingly classical and opera, and much of pop/rock even of that era simply passed me by.  Was musician X influenced by bluegrass in his youth?  Heck, I'm not sure I could say what bluegrass is, to differentiate it from, eg.  country western/country rock/rockabilly music.

There is no reason to apply any fuzzy logic if you aren't interested exploring in the first place. "Bluegrass" can be anything you think bluegrass is (your mental image of the term) and it was just an example. You can use concepts you know yourself, like "this sounds a lot like Elvis Presley".

It's like fitting a curve to the data you have. the less data you have, the simpler curve you can fit. Let's say you know:

y( 2 ) = 8, y( 5 ) = 210 and y( 8 ) = 618.

You can fit a second order polynomial (parabel y(x) = a*x2+b*x+c) to this set of three data points. When you do that you come up with the solution:

y(x) = 10*x2 + 6*x - 70

Now you have a function to estimate y(x) "anywhere".

Now, exploring new music you don't use exact math but fuzzy logic, your mental images instead of y(x). You do that all the time you think (make a decision of when to buy a new car etc.) but you can learn to use it effectively for exploring new music, if want that is.


I do find that knowing the opinions of other people about particular performances does help me predict my reaction to that performance,  if I know enough about their tastes to begin with and how they compare with me.

Well, that is true. Performances can be evaluated with pretty exact terms like "fast". If you like your Beethoven played fast and someone tells you performance X is fast, you can predict it's for you. Exploring new music is different. It is for the most part finding new things about yourself. It's like "Oh, I never knew I like bluegrass but I do!". If you can't predict those things, how can other people?

Your opinions have no predictive value for me at the moment because, beyond your opinion of Elgar and "pop", I don't know much of your musical tastes, so I can't say if the fact that you like composer T's Symphony No. N indicates that I would or would not like it in my turn.  John (Mirror Image), OTOH,  does have predictive value, since I know he seems to have similar tastes to mine,  once I take into account that his tolerance of "modern" (=not traditional tonality) music is far higher than mine.  So if he likes that Symphony No. N,  my ears  perk up, so to speak. But this is a measure of familiarity with people's tastes, and nothing more.

Sorry if I am not helpful to you in any way. I have always found it difficult to find my place in the world, find my purpose. I envy people who have found their place and are respected.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: kishnevi on January 20, 2014, 07:15:33 PM


Sorry if I am not helpful to you in any way. I have always found it difficult to find my place in the world, find my purpose. I envy people who have found their place and are respected.

No need to be sorry about a fact that's not your fault!
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: amw on January 21, 2014, 12:20:22 AM
I too agree that Shostakovich's achievement will stand intact; what exactly his legacy will ultimately become is impossible to say.  What resonated with me the strongest was the author's opinion that Shostakovich's stock has been inflated. 

I think I was drawn to the article for a few reasons—first of all high praise for the 14th symphony, a piece that isn't talked about nearly enough; second of all finally! someone else who thinks the Op. 87 is pallid, formulaic, soporific and in general one of Shostakovich's least interesting piano pieces! (Though a few of them are fun to play.); third of all recognition that Shostakovich has become more a symbol than a composer, hence the conflating of artist and man and the lack of "balanced response to the actual notes". We hang a lot of spiritual weight on Shostakovich—he is, at present, probably the most important 20th century composer—and to a certain extent this reflects more his quasi-legendary status than the actual music he wrote. Never mind what you or I might think of that music; he himself might not have approved of a composition like (say) the Fifth or Seventh Symphonies or the Festival Overture being performed and lauded, music he wrote under duress and while intentionally hobbling himself in order to avoid official censure, while more experimental, forward-looking compositions like the Fourth Symphony, of which he was especially proud, remain comparatively obscure.

Anyway, the thread has moved on, and since you all seem to be discussing things in a calm and civilised manner with no name-calling and hair-pulling whatsoever, I suppose I will have to be the one to wade in with random (yet on-topic) pointless inflammatory comments and distract everyone.

Gesualdo is overrated! Salieri is underrated! Prokofiev's Symphony-Concerto is his greatest work! Donizetti's operas are better than Wagner's! Vladimir Horowitz was not that great! Mstislav Rostropovich and Isaac Stern may have been good musicians, but their tone is so unpleasant I can't stand listening to them! I like Glenn Gould's Mozart sonatas! White chocolate is better than milk chocolate! (etc)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on January 21, 2014, 05:53:12 AM
. . . second of all finally! someone else who thinks the Op. 87 is pallid, formulaic, soporific and in general one of Shostakovich's least interesting piano pieces!

Well, your post is certainly in the spirit of the thread.  But let's say there are people who think exactly the same of Bach's WTC (pallid, formulaic, soporific and in general uninteresting):  Is theirs the correct/better/more informed opinion?
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on January 21, 2014, 06:10:42 AM
. . . Now, exploring new music you don't use exact math but fuzzy logic . . . .

I think I understand you, but fuzzy logic sounds pejorative (and lawd knows I've seen some of it, even here on GMG ;) . . . .)

But, you only mean that logic has a different sort of exactitude than that of mathematics, yes?
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on January 21, 2014, 06:12:14 AM
Today classical musicians can not improvise on their instruments as the past instrumentists did.

True. Today's musicians improvise better ;)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: North Star on January 21, 2014, 06:24:26 AM
I think I understand you, but fuzzy logic sounds pejorative (and lawd knows I've seen some of it, even here on GMG ;) . . . .)

But, you only mean that logic has a different sort of exactitude than that of mathematics, yes?
I'd say he means that it uses a different sort of mathematics ;)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Sergeant Rock on January 21, 2014, 06:28:35 AM
You don't see pop fans debating the merits of a Beatles Hamburg 62 performance or a 66 Wembley Stadium gig of the same song, they just enjoy the craft.

Are you kidding? Come join me on a Tori Amos forum some time and you will see people nominating favourite performances of particular songs from a selection of sometimes several hundred options.

Yup, or the need to collect every Miles Davis live album and debate about which solos are the best-improvised.

Jut has apparently never met a Deadhead.

Sarge
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Cato on January 21, 2014, 07:15:03 AM
Jut has apparently never met a Deadhead.

Sarge

True!

There are Rock-n-Roll aficionados who will debate with each other all day about e.g. the Bangles vs. the Go-Go's, Sting vs. Phil Collins, the Big Bopper vs. Commander Cody  ??? ??? ???   vinyl vs. CD's, etc. etc. etc.

Such characters were satirized by the Jack Black character in High Fidelity.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on January 21, 2014, 07:27:48 AM
Such characters were satirized by the Jack Black character in High Fidelity.

High Fidelity is a documentary!
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: 71 dB on January 21, 2014, 09:49:28 AM
I think I understand you, but fuzzy logic sounds pejorative (and lawd knows I've seen some of it, even here on GMG ;) . . . .)

But, you only mean that logic has a different sort of exactitude than that of mathematics, yes?

Pejorative? Really? Forget about what I said if it's too pejorative and weird to you.  :-\
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: 71 dB on January 21, 2014, 09:54:50 AM
I'd say he means that it uses a different sort of mathematics ;)

You guys haven't heard or fuzzy logic?  :o

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fuzzy_logic (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fuzzy_logic)

I mean you can use pretty "mathematical" methods but it must be of course "fuzzy logic" in our heads.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: kishnevi on January 21, 2014, 09:56:26 AM
I think I was drawn to the article for a few reasons—first of all high praise for the 14th symphony, a piece that isn't talked about nearly enough; second of all finally! someone else who thinks the Op. 87 is pallid, formulaic, soporific and in general one of Shostakovich's least interesting piano pieces! (Though a few of them are fun to play.); third of all recognition that Shostakovich has become more a symbol than a composer, hence the conflating of artist and man and the lack of "balanced response to the actual notes". We hang a lot of spiritual weight on Shostakovich—he is, at present, probably the most important 20th century composer—and to a certain extent this reflects more his quasi-legendary status than the actual music he wrote. Never mind what you or I might think of that music; he himself might not have approved of a composition like (say) the Fifth or Seventh Symphonies or the Festival Overture being performed and lauded, music he wrote under duress and while intentionally hobbling himself in order to avoid official censure, while more experimental, forward-looking compositions like the Fourth Symphony, of which he was especially proud, remain comparatively obscure.


I don't think that the Fourth can be thought of as obscure nowadays--certainly it's better known than several other of his symphonies.  And he wrote works like the Fifth intending them to be more accessible, and the fact that he intended to win official approval with them doesn't mean he considered them junk.  And I think the evidence is too thin on the ground to say which works he churned out to comply with official demands and no other reason (Song of the Forests, maybe, and some other works produced obviously for official use,  but even with them the evidence is mostly circumstantial).
Quote
Gesualdo is overrated! Salieri is underrated! Prokofiev's Symphony-Concerto is his greatest work! Donizetti's operas are better than Wagner's! Vladimir Horowitz was not that great! Mstislav Rostropovich and Isaac Stern may have been good musicians, but their tone is so unpleasant I can't stand listening to them! I like Glenn Gould's Mozart sonatas! White chocolate is better than milk chocolate! (etc)

Statements I bolded are ones with which I agree and therefore are indisputably correct :)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: North Star on January 21, 2014, 10:05:47 AM
You guys haven't heard or fuzzy logic?  :o

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fuzzy_logic (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fuzzy_logic)

I mean you can use pretty "mathematical" methods but it must be of course "fuzzy logic" in our heads.
Yes, that's what I meant. Reminds me of Schrödinger's cat.

I think I was drawn to the article for a few reasons—first of all high praise for the 14th symphony, a piece that isn't talked about nearly enough[.]

Anyway, the thread has moved on, and since you all seem to be discussing things in a calm and civilised manner with no name-calling and hair-pulling whatsoever, I suppose I will have to be the one to wade in with random (yet on-topic) pointless inflammatory comments and distract everyone.

Gesualdo is overrated! Salieri is underrated! Prokofiev's Symphony-Concerto is his greatest work! Donizetti's operas are better than Wagner's! Vladimir Horowitz was not that great! Mstislav Rostropovich and Isaac Stern may have been good musicians, but their tone is so unpleasant I can't stand listening to them! I like Glenn Gould's Mozart sonatas! White chocolate is better than milk chocolate! (etc)
The 14th symphony is one of my absolute favourites, but white chocolate is an abomination.  >:D  0:)

As for greatest Proky work, I'd nominate Romeo & Juliet, PC no. 2 and The Fiery Angel.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on January 21, 2014, 10:21:35 AM
I like the Op.125 very well, but I couldn't rank it his best piece. (Apt to agree with Karlo on the Op.64.)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on January 21, 2014, 10:24:20 AM
You guys haven't heard or fuzzy logic?  :o

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fuzzy_logic (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fuzzy_logic)

Well, why should I have?  I'm a composer :)

Thanks for the enlightenment.

Pejorative and weird are distinct ideas.  If you meant them as synonymous (perhaps you did not), that is what I should normally take as "fuzzy logic" ;)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: The Six on January 21, 2014, 10:27:56 AM
White chocolate isn't even chocolate. You can't compare it to milk chocolate!

Also, Shostakovitch's preludes and fugues are better than Bach's.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: 71 dB on January 21, 2014, 11:15:23 AM
Well, why should I have?  I'm a composer :)

Thanks for the enlightenment.

You are welcome Karl. Yes, you are a composer, but that doesn't mean you can't know some things outside music.  ;)

I thought everybody knew what fuzzy logic is. I was shocked to find out couple of years ago my working pal didn't know what fractals are. He had never heard of Mandelbrot! :o People know different things...
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Brian on January 21, 2014, 11:18:41 AM
White chocolate is better than milk chocolate! (etc)
Dark > white > milk for me.  :)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on January 21, 2014, 11:19:31 AM
You are welcome Karl. Yes, you are a composer, but that doesn't mean you can't know some things outside music.  ;)

Oh, I agree. I do know what fractals are  :)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: kishnevi on January 21, 2014, 11:24:45 AM
You are welcome Karl. Yes, you are a composer, but that doesn't mean you can't know some things outside music.  ;)

I thought everybody knew what fuzzy logic is. I was shocked to find out couple of years ago my working pal didn't know what fractals are. He had never heard of Mandelbrot! :o People know different things...

In this case, fuzzy logic has both exoteric and esoteric meanings.  The esoteric--which is better phrased as technical--meaning is the way you use it; but the exoteric--meaning taking the words at face value--merely means failed attempts at logical argumentation,  such as abound on political blogs.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: 71 dB on January 21, 2014, 12:20:06 PM
In this case, fuzzy logic has both exoteric and esoteric meanings.  The esoteric--which is better phrased as technical--meaning is the way you use it; but the exoteric--meaning taking the words at face value--merely means failed attempts at logical argumentation,  such as abound on political blogs.

Yes, but if you know the esoteric meaning you know that's what people mean by fuzzy logic, or is my logic fuzzy here?  ;D
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: 71 dB on January 21, 2014, 12:23:24 PM
I do know what fractals are  :)

That's good.  0:)

Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Sergeant Rock on January 21, 2014, 12:38:03 PM
I like Glenn Gould's Mozart sonatas!

So do me and the boys  8) ...especially his K.331  ;D

(http://photos.imageevent.com/sgtrock/asheville/bUTTHEAD.gif)


Sarge
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Cato on January 21, 2014, 01:21:38 PM
Yes, but if you know the esoteric meaning you know that's what people mean by fuzzy logic, or is my logic fuzzy here?  ;D

Actually, I prefer woolly, pastel logic!
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: 71 dB on January 21, 2014, 02:59:53 PM
Actually, I prefer woolly, pastel logic!

woolly, pastel logic = Ke$ha's head?  ::)

http://blog.sfgate.com/dailydish/wp-content/blogs.dir/2247/files/2014/01/kesha3.jpg (http://blog.sfgate.com/dailydish/wp-content/blogs.dir/2247/files/2014/01/kesha3.jpg)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Cato on January 21, 2014, 04:25:22 PM
woolly, pastel logic = Ke$ha's head?  ::)

http://blog.sfgate.com/dailydish/wp-content/blogs.dir/2247/files/2014/01/kesha3.jpg (http://blog.sfgate.com/dailydish/wp-content/blogs.dir/2247/files/2014/01/kesha3.jpg)

That 63 I.Q. gaze is something else!   0:)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: 71 dB on January 22, 2014, 12:48:01 AM
That 63 I.Q. gaze is something else!   0:)

Yes, most of the time Ke$ha looks like her IQ was 63. Look is deceiving. Ke$ha is actually VERY smart, her IQ is said to be 140+ (scale unknown, but that's high on any scale).
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: jochanaan on January 22, 2014, 06:45:52 PM
Today classical musicians can not improvise on their instruments as the past instrumentists did.
Some of us can! But I didn't learn to improvise in music school, but by improvising.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Florestan on January 26, 2014, 09:02:10 AM
So do me and the boys  8) ...especially his K.331  ;D

(http://photos.imageevent.com/sgtrock/asheville/bUTTHEAD.gif)

My first reaction to it was "The guy's fucking outta his minds!'

My second reaction was "Well, one can play it this way too, after all!"

My third and final reaction was "That is fucking great, actually!"

(Please excuse my French  ;D ).
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Jay F on January 27, 2014, 09:03:25 AM
My unpopular opinions:

1. I don’t like Haydn, Mendelssohn, or Debussy, nor a lot of the Music That Meanders I mistake for Debussy when I hear it on the radio.

2. Brendel plays a lot of my piano favorites. I don’t find him BrenDULL at all.

3. My favorite Beethoven piano sonateur -- is this a word? -- is Paul Lewis, who allowed me to hear this music for the first time, something Gilels, Arrau, and Kempff were unable to do 30 years ago. I like Schiff's, too.

4. My favorite Beethoven String Quartets are by the Emersons. I previously liked the first Lindsay series a lot, and the Juilliards on LP before those, and more recently, the Takacs, though I can't say I actually listened to the Takacs much once I put them on the shelf. I listen to the Emersons a lot, OTOH, as I did with the Lindsays in the '80s. I think this music transcends the "My favorite version kicks your favorite version's ass" concept that attaches to a lot of classical music. Just as I've never heard a bad Mozart Piano Concerto, I can't think of a version of Beethoven's SQs I haven't wanted to listen to. Of course, I haven't heard most of them.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Pat B on January 27, 2014, 09:15:27 AM
3. My favorite Beethoven piano sonateur -- is this a word?

It is now.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Brian on January 27, 2014, 09:45:14 AM
2. Brendel plays a lot of my piano favorites. I don’t find him BrenDULL at all.
Right as I type this I'm listening to Brendel play the final movement of Schumann's Fantasy in C, Op. 17. It's probably my favorite performance of this movement; luminous, slow but not indulgent, a nocturne.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: kishnevi on January 27, 2014, 06:32:35 PM
My unpopular opinions:

1. I don’t like Haydn, Mendelssohn, or Debussy, nor a lot of the Music That Meanders I mistake for Debussy when I hear it on the radio.

Boo! Hiss!
Although there is some truth to the term "Music that meanders"--it's just that IMO Debussy knew when to meander and how far he could go on meandering.

Quote
2. Brendel plays a lot of my piano favorites. I don’t find him BrenDULL at all.

3. My favorite Beethoven piano sonateur -- is this a word? -- is Paul Lewis, who allowed me to hear this music for the first time, something Gilels, Arrau, and Kempff were unable to do 30 years ago. I like Schiff's, too.
Full agreement on Number 2.  I do like Lewis and Schiff, although I'm not sure I would call them my favorite recordings of the sonatas.  Of course, I'm not sure I have a favorite recording of the full cycle. 
Given Lewis' relationship to Brendel, it's not surprising that if you like Brendel you will like Lewis.  Are you familiar with his Schubert?
Quote
4. My favorite Beethoven String Quartets are by the Emersons. I previously liked the first Lindsay series a lot, and the Juilliards on LP before those, and more recently, the Takacs, though I can't say I actually listened to the Takacs much once I put them on the shelf. I listen to the Emersons a lot, OTOH, as I did with the Lindsays in the '80s. I think this music transcends the "My favorite version kicks your favorite version's ass" concept that attaches to a lot of classical music. Just as I've never heard a bad Mozart Piano Concerto, I can't think of a version of Beethoven's SQs I haven't wanted to listen to. Of course, I haven't heard most of them.
Sort of agreement here: I do have some recordings of the quartets that I prefer to others, but usually not by a huge amount, and I too can't think of a quartet recording I have actually disliked--which also describes my attitude to the piano sonatas.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on January 28, 2014, 06:41:10 AM
Boo! Hiss!
Although there is some truth to the term "Music that meanders"--it's just that IMO Debussy knew when to meander and how far he could go on meandering.

I find his meandering better considered than some other composers' purposeful travel itineraries . . . .
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: jochanaan on January 28, 2014, 11:04:25 AM
I find his meandering better considered than some other composers' purposeful travel itineraries . . . .
Word.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Gurn Blanston on January 28, 2014, 11:08:14 AM
My unpopular opinions:

1. I don’t like Haydn, Mendelssohn, or Debussy, nor a lot of the Music That Meanders I mistake for Debussy when I hear it on the radio.


I am still trying to figure out if you are accusing Haydn of meandering. You would be the very first one I ever heard of!  :)

8)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Gurn Blanston on January 28, 2014, 11:36:02 AM
Relax, Gurn, he was only referring to Debussy as the Meanderer -

he calls him the Meanderer, the Meanderer, he roams around, around, around.

 ;)

Oh, I wasn't upset, just puzzled. Grammatically puzzled, I suppose. If there is someone who doesn't meander, it's Haydn!   :D

8)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Madiel on January 29, 2014, 03:35:04 AM
This thread keeps inspiring me to go listen to some Shostakovich. And buy more of his symphonies.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: RJR on February 14, 2014, 06:08:53 PM
How?! Taking Mahler for example - he wrote no solo music, but (here is another what may be unpopular opinion)
MAHLER IS THE GREATEST COMPOSER OF ALL!

I am sure many of you will disagree with me, and hopefully some will agree as well. But this is a view I definitely believe!

haha :) I could talk to anyone who loves Mahler for many hours! :) I am fascinated by his collection - which complete cycles does he have? Don't suppose you could upload a photo of it to one of the 'cd collection' threads here?
Glad that you will still listen to Mahler too! The Bartok/Boulez set is resting in my amazon basket at the moment, after the move from the wishlist. Looking forward to hearing it.
Mahler?!
Bull Shit.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on February 15, 2014, 04:57:23 AM
Seinfeld isn't that great.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: North Star on February 15, 2014, 05:15:15 AM
Seinfeld is far from great.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: TheGSMoeller on February 15, 2014, 05:16:49 AM
Seinfeld isn't that great.

I like Seinfeld, but I don't think it's aged very well. Now every once in a while I catch a Cheers episode, and I feel as if that show could make it on today's TV.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on February 15, 2014, 05:18:04 AM
I should probably watch some Cheers . . . .
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: TheGSMoeller on February 15, 2014, 05:19:42 AM
I should probably watch some Cheers . . . .

I used to watch that show all the time, Shelly Long was good, but Kirstie Alley was a great companion to Ted Danson's Sam. Great friction, and chemistry.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on February 15, 2014, 05:21:01 AM
If that show on DVD is not at the BPL, I'll make one of my sisters into chowder . . . .
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Mirror Image on February 15, 2014, 07:53:07 AM
I like Seinfeld, but I don't think it's aged very well. Now every once in a while I catch a Cheers episode, and I feel as if that show could make it on today's TV.

I never cared much for Cheers, so we're all different. My favorite sitcoms are Seinfeld, Everybody Loves Raymond, Frasier, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Wings, and Becker.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Ken B on February 20, 2014, 06:12:21 PM
Schubert's Trout quintet is lousy.

Shostakovich's preludes and fugues are his best music.

Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: EigenUser on February 20, 2014, 08:42:51 PM
Seinfeld is far from great.
>:D

I never cared much for Cheers, so we're all different. My favorite sitcoms are Seinfeld, Everybody Loves Raymond, Frasier, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Wings, and Becker.

"Seinfeld" and "Everybody Loves Raymond" are two of my favorite sitcoms.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Mirror Image on February 20, 2014, 08:46:23 PM

"Seinfeld" and "Everybody Loves Raymond" are two of my favorite sitcoms.

A man of fine tastes. ;) But, seriously, these two sitcoms always leave me wanting more. I would say, though, that my favorite sitcom is probably Frasier for the simple reason that I think the character development and those moments of seriousness were some of the best in any sitcom I've seen. I have watched Seasons 1-11 all the through twice already and I plan on doing it again whenever I get the chance.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: kishnevi on February 21, 2014, 10:53:13 AM
A man of fine tastes. ;) But, seriously, these two sitcoms always leave me wanting more. I would say, though, that my favorite sitcom is probably Frasier for the simple reason that I think the character development and those moments of seriousness were some of the best in any sitcom I've seen. I have watched Seasons 1-11 all the through twice already and I plan on doing it again whenever I get the chance.

Though I haven't watched it nearly as much as you,  I agree with you about why Frasier was such a good show.  Raymond had a good number of those moments, too.  I never did like Seinfeld--it seemed to be too self-referential (as in I always expect one or more of the characters to turn to the audience and say "look how funny we are over such a trivial and tedious thing!".
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: PaulSC on February 21, 2014, 11:07:06 AM
Schubert's Trout quintet is lousy.

Shostakovich's preludes and fugues are his best music.
I'm with you on both of these opinions!
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Pat B on February 21, 2014, 11:46:45 AM
I never cared much for Cheers, so we're all different. My favorite sitcoms are Seinfeld, Everybody Loves Raymond, Frasier, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Wings, and Becker.

Interesting that 3 of your 6 favorites have strong connections to Cheers. You might also like Taxi and The Tortellis. ;)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: ritter on February 21, 2014, 11:57:10 AM
....
Shostakovich's preludes and fugues are his best music.
Fully agree on this one...moreover, I'd say Opus 87 is one of only a handful of compositions by DSCH that can actually be called "good"... ::)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: kishnevi on February 21, 2014, 12:11:49 PM
Fully agree on this one...moreover, I'd say Opus 87 is one of only a handful of compositions by DSCH that can actually be called "good"... ::)

Quite correct.  There is a large percentage of his work which must be called "great" and not merely "good".   :D
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: ritter on February 21, 2014, 12:40:29 PM
Quite correct.  There is a large percentage of his work which must be called "great" and not merely "good".   :D
  ;D ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Mirror Image on February 21, 2014, 07:27:02 PM
Though I haven't watched it nearly as much as you,  I agree with you about why Frasier was such a good show.  Raymond had a good number of those moments, too.  I never did like Seinfeld--it seemed to be too self-referential (as in I always expect one or more of the characters to turn to the audience and say "look how funny we are over such a trivial and tedious thing!".

Seinfeld has plenty of people who genuinely just dislike the show. I, however, thought it was brilliant and I love Curb Your Enthusiasm as well, but I just like Larry David in general anyway. He's such an asshole, but he's a funny asshole. :)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Mirror Image on February 21, 2014, 07:29:49 PM
Interesting that 3 of your 6 favorites have strong connections to Cheers. You might also like Taxi and The Tortellis. ;)

I just didn't care much for the characters of Cheers. I didn't even think much of Frasier Crane until he was taken out of that stinking bar and thrown into Seattle. ;D
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Ken B on February 21, 2014, 07:33:41 PM
Quote from: ritter link=topic=19564.msg778474#http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00CSHCJIO/ref=oh_details_o07_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 date=1393012630
Fully agree on this one...moreover, I'd say Opus 87 is one of only a handful of compositions by DSCH that can actually be called "good"... ::)
Careful! That guy used to be a favourite of John's.
 >:D >:D >:D
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: amw on February 21, 2014, 08:07:39 PM
I'm with you on both of these opinions!
Fully agree on this one...
Careful now, this isn't the popular opinions thread... :o
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Mirror Image on February 21, 2014, 08:23:26 PM
Careful! That guy used to be a favourite of John's.
 >:D >:D >:D

He's a still an absolute favorite and I'll fight with anyone who makes fun of him! ;) ;D Leave my Shosty alone people!!!!
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Ken B on February 21, 2014, 08:50:41 PM
He's a still an absolute favorite and I'll fight with anyone who makes fun of him! ;) ;D Leave my Shosty alone people!!!!
I have a terrific Shosty joke, but it requires sound effects.

The only other good music joke I know is this.

A man walks into a bar and sits at the counter.
"Give me an Elgar."
"What's an elgar?"
"Brahms and water."
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Pat B on February 21, 2014, 10:32:57 PM
Uh-oh.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: North Star on February 22, 2014, 02:41:25 AM
I have a terrific Shosty joke, but it requires sound effects.

The only other good music joke I know is this.

A man walks into a bar and sits at the counter.
"Give me an Elgar."
"What's an elgar?"
"Brahms and water."

Well, Sibelius would be just the water, of course...
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Ken B on February 22, 2014, 07:06:45 AM
Well, Sibelius would be just the water, of course...
Ha! That's what he said about himself! Nicely played North Star.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: jochanaan on February 28, 2014, 10:32:13 AM
Well, Sibelius would be just the water, of course...
Mostly of the frozen type, but over a volcanic hot spring... ;D
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Jo498 on September 14, 2014, 01:22:21 AM
When I browsed through this thread a few weeks ago someone had posted a link to an older article by some contemporary british composer (whose name I forgot) that was very critical about Shostakovich. I seem to be unable to find it without going through 50 pages of thread. Does anyone remember the link or name of the composer?

EDIT: Found it, it's amw's reply #913. the comment linked is by Robin Holloway dating from 2000.
http://archive.spectator.co.uk/article/26th-august-2000/41/music
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Ken B on September 14, 2014, 05:31:57 AM
In Scotland they lowered the voting age to 16 from 18. The drinking age is 18.
Better would have been to lower the drinking age and raise the voting age.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: North Star on September 14, 2014, 05:37:04 AM
In Scotland they lowered the voting age to 16 from 18. The drinking age is 18.
Better would have been to lower the drinking age and raise the voting age.
That is a peculiar interpretation of the meaning of the word 'better'.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Jo498 on September 14, 2014, 06:09:23 AM
In Germany the voting age (age of majority) used to be 21 until about 1975. Now it's 18 as had been the age for driving cars and military service before. Smoking/Drinking age is nuanced between 16 (no hard liquor) and 18 (now also for smoking/buying tobacco, this used to be 16 until a few years ago). But to my knowledge this is not enforced as strictly as in many other countries. Until a few years ago one could buy cigarettes from vending machines without proof of age (one only had to be tall enough to reach the slot, probably most 10 year olds are).
For some communal/regional bodies the active voting age was lowered to 16 in some regions, but 18 still applies for all important elections.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Mirror Image on September 14, 2014, 09:53:49 AM
When I browsed through this thread a few weeks ago someone had posted a link to an older article by some contemporary british composer (whose name I forgot) that was very critical about Shostakovich. I seem to be unable to find it without going through 50 pages of thread. Does anyone remember the link or name of the composer?

EDIT: Found it, it's amw's reply #913. the comment linked is by Robin Holloway dating from 2000.
http://archive.spectator.co.uk/article/26th-august-2000/41/music

It's also important to remember that Holloway's opinion is just that an opinion. Having heard some of his music, I have to say I'm not particularly impressed with his music and so his negative thoughts on Shostakovich mirror my own about his music.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: North Star on September 14, 2014, 10:03:17 AM
It's also important to remember that Holloway's opinion is just that an opinion.
I'd say it's barely an opinion.  0:)
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Mirror Image on September 14, 2014, 10:52:20 AM
I'd say it's barely an opinion.  0:)

Yeah, more like a rant.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Jo498 on September 14, 2014, 11:22:02 AM
Holloway should have gone more into detail, but I do find his view interesting nevertheless. He is very probably not a great composer himself, so his opinion should not carry much weight because of his "rank", but neither does he seem to reject most of Shostakovich's music because he belongs to some "school" or because of some general prejudice against non-avantgarde music. His points are not a very deep criticism, but I can understand a few of them (even if I do not share all of his impressions).
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Luke on September 14, 2014, 11:33:46 AM
Holloway may or may not be a great composer (personally I actually think he is an extremely fine one, and I would think that even if he hadn't taught me and been generally a key figure in my own musical education), but he certainly has an extremely deep and comprehensive knowledge of the entire extended repertoire, and I don't know him ever to have tossed out any of his opinions without being able to back them up thoroughly and persuasively. I'd actually suggest that he is rare among composers in the completeness of his total and thorough immersion in the repertoire (e.g. I think I know my Janacek, but turns out he knows it much more deeply than I do). When he taught me he had some pretty outrageous things to say about all sorts of pieces - but you could always see where he came from, even if you disagreed. The flip side, too, was his obvious, almost spiritual devotion to so much else. Disagree, fine, he would only expect and welcome that, but don't dismiss his opinions as unfounded.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: North Star on September 14, 2014, 11:59:25 AM
I don't know anything about Holloway, but his reasons for not thinking much of Shostakovich, as he has written on that piece, don't seem to amount to anything substantial - he's not as colourful as the colourists, "a rapid degeneration from innocent cheerfulness via terse grimness to the long- drawn-out torture by excruciation and vacancy of the final works" in the string quartets, "neutral or indeed repellent: battleship-grey in melody and harmony, factory-functional in structure; in content all rhetoric and coercion, exercises or instructions in communal lament and celebration, rendered by portentous slow music and mirthless fast music, nearly identical from work to work, coarsely if effectively scored, executed with horrifying fluency and competence, kept unflaggingly going long after its natural cut-off point had passed", " habitual harshness, meanness, over-emphasis"

I would like to see what are Holloway's foundations for these arguments. And why should Shostakovich be as colourful as the colourists, and how are the "intended comparisons" Haydn, Beethoven, and Mahler - especially since Holloway goes on to say that "There simply hasn't been a Shostakovich-shaped niche" - if those are the closest comparisons, I'd say the Shostakovich-shaped niche is certainly there.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Luke on September 14, 2014, 12:07:07 PM
My point is that, in the real world, there are some people who might profess an opinion with which I disagree who I will happily grant that they know what they are talking about, and that maybe I ought to take what they've said as an invitation to re-examine things I thought I knew. Holloway is one of those people. As far as Shostakovich goes, I love him, I don't agree with Holloway about him, particularly about the Preludes and Fugues...but then I look at Holloway's own contrapuntal keyboard writing (e.g. his Bach-inspired Gilded Goldberg's) and think, well, this man knows what he is talking about, I can't just dismiss his opinions as easily as that. And I can see at least the germ of Holloway's point in every single one of the passages you quote, although I draw different conclusions from them.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Mirror Image on September 14, 2014, 12:10:40 PM
I don't know anything about Holloway, but his reasons for not thinking much of Shostakovich, as he has written on that piece, don't seem to amount to anything substantial - he's not as colourful as the colourists, "a rapid degeneration from innocent cheerfulness via terse grimness to the long- drawn-out torture by excruciation and vacancy of the final works" in the string quartets, "neutral or indeed repellent: battleship-grey in melody and harmony, factory-functional in structure; in content all rhetoric and coercion, exercises or instructions in communal lament and celebration, rendered by portentous slow music and mirthless fast music, nearly identical from work to work, coarsely if effectively scored, executed with horrifying fluency and competence, kept unflaggingly going long after its natural cut-off point had passed", " habitual harshness, meanness, over-emphasis"

This quote alone from Holloway's article is enough to make one bust out into laughter. He's certainly entitled to his opinions of course, but, like I said, this article was just one giant rant on why he believes he's in the minority but the reality is there's plenty of people that dislike Shostakovich as much as they dislike Ives. He's just blowing off some steam. That's the way I look at it.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: North Star on September 14, 2014, 12:24:55 PM
My point is that, in the real world, there are some people who might profess an opinion with which I disagree who I will happily grant that they know what they are talking about, and that maybe I ought to take what they've said as an invitation to re-examine things I thought I knew. Holloway is one of those people. As far as Shostakovich goes, I love him, I don't agree with Holloway about him, particularly about the Preludes and Fugues...but then I look at Holloway's own contrapuntal keyboard writing (e.g. his Bach-inspired Gilded Goldberg's) and think, well, this man knows what he is talking about, I can't just dismiss his opinions as easily as that. And I can see at least the germ of Holloway's point in every single one of the passages you quote, although I draw different conclusions from them.
I agree that I can see where he hears these things in the music, but in the end Holloway really writes more about not hearing anything special in the music, and I don't think that he's proving anything, regardless of the greatness of his musical mind, and I don't see how one should re-examine the music with thought of not hearing the same things he doesn't. But then again, I'm rarely interested in anyone's negative response to works of art.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Ken B on September 14, 2014, 12:27:15 PM
Well, might as well wave the red flag at the shosty bulls. Holloway's comments about the symphonies are pretty fair. 14 is a masterpiece, 1 does promise things not deilvered in many later symphonies, and as a set they are very mixed and not at the level of Mahler say. Of course those are also his official face music. But the concertos are a different story, as are the P&F and quartets.
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: ibanezmonster on September 14, 2014, 12:31:02 PM
What if being colorless was Shostakovich's intention and it ended up being an attractive quality of his music when one is in the mood for it? I mean, when you want to portray a message as gloomy as what he writes sometimes, you don't want to make people think of the Carebears.

When it comes to negative reviews of composers who have been established for decades/centuries, there's no real point in criticism other than to express how you personally feel... I might not listen to Mozart or Rossini because most of what I've heard I seriously have no interest in, but I'm not going to say it's terrible and explain why. They write music that doesn't quite entertain me (or may even annoy me), but oh well, move on. Now, saying something about Dzorevashvili's music is another story...  ;D
Title: Re: Unpopular Opinions
Post by: Jo498 on September 14, 2014, 10:37:53 PM
I certainly believe that Holloway could expand his points, but a magazine article is not the place for that and so they may not be as convincingly made as they could have been.

In any case it seems that people underestimate the meteoric rise of Shostakovich's music in the last 30 years or so. When I started listening to classical music as a teenager in the mid/late '80s hardly anyone would have put him even remotely in the league of Ravel, Stravinsky, Bartok or Prokofieff.
More conservative listener