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Composers you simply don't understand

Diqiucun_Cunmin
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8/5/2016 4:31:34 AM
Posted: 4 months ago
No, I don't mean Reich or Glass. Those are 'emperor's new clothes' composers - there's simply nothing in their music to understand, so it's only natural that you don't understand it.

I'm talking about masters who are not accessible enough for regular people like us to 'get' their music. Mozart and Chopin obviously don't fall into this category - their music is for everyone, although listeners with varying degrees of sophistication will still 'get' different things from listening to their music.

For me, one person who used to be on this list was Schumann, whose works can be said to be explorations of madness. I don't mean Waldszenen or Kinderszenen, of course - those are still Schumann, but relatively easy to digest. The first time, or even the first five times you listen to the piano concerto, the symphonies, Kreisleriana, etc., it's hard to make heads or tails of what's going on. Thankfully, I think I've somewhat improved my appreciation of Schumann.

Here are some of the composers who are still on my list:
-Gustav Mahler. I know many people are Mahler fanatics, but I really don't get what he's doing. I way prefer the traditional symphonies from Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, etc., which employ familiar forms and are generally more accessible.
-Edward Elgar. Yes, I know he wrote more than military marches. The problem is that I don't really understand what's going on, whether in the Enigma variations or the first symphony. To me, a lot of the time, it's just a lot of strings sounding excited and euphoric. I've had the honour of listening to Ashekazy conduct the latter live, but I wasn't really convinced by it.
-Igor Stravinsky. This is the guy I really don't understand. He's gone through several stages and styles in his life, but I'm not really a fan of any of them. Firebird, (trois mouvements de) Petrouchka, Rite of Spring, etc. - all his popular works. The only works I've enjoyed from him are minor ones, like the piano sonata from his juvenila or the tango.

How about yours? And any suggestions for me to appreciate these composers will be sincerely appreciated :)
The thing is, I hate relativism. I hate relativism more than I hate everything else, excepting, maybe, fibreglass powerboats... What it overlooks, to put it briefly and crudely, is the fixed structure of human nature. - Jerry Fodor

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Torton
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8/5/2016 5:12:19 AM
Posted: 4 months ago
At 8/5/2016 4:31:34 AM, Diqiucun_Cunmin wrote:
No, I don't mean Reich or Glass. Those are 'emperor's new clothes' composers - there's simply nothing in their music to understand, so it's only natural that you don't understand it.
Philip Glass? I don't mean to derail the thread, but can you expand on what exactly you mean by this?
Diqiucun_Cunmin
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8/5/2016 5:38:35 AM
Posted: 4 months ago
At 8/5/2016 5:12:19 AM, Torton wrote:
At 8/5/2016 4:31:34 AM, Diqiucun_Cunmin wrote:
No, I don't mean Reich or Glass. Those are 'emperor's new clothes' composers - there's simply nothing in their music to understand, so it's only natural that you don't understand it.
Philip Glass? I don't mean to derail the thread, but can you expand on what exactly you mean by this?

IMO people like Glass and Reich are the musical equivalent of art that involves drawing a single stripe or splashing random colours on a canvas and calling it 'art'. Minimalism is a fraud - it is boring music dressed up as sophisticated artistry, when in reality it is just boring music. The empty, vacuous music appeals to the philistinism and commercialism of the modern era but has very little artistic merit. You just have to listen to pieces like 'Metamorphosis' to see how little Glass has to offer.
The thing is, I hate relativism. I hate relativism more than I hate everything else, excepting, maybe, fibreglass powerboats... What it overlooks, to put it briefly and crudely, is the fixed structure of human nature. - Jerry Fodor

Don't be a stat cynic:
http://www.debate.org...

Response to conservative views on deforestation:
http://www.debate.org...

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Torton
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8/5/2016 5:57:37 AM
Posted: 4 months ago
At 8/5/2016 5:38:35 AM, Diqiucun_Cunmin wrote:
At 8/5/2016 5:12:19 AM, Torton wrote:
At 8/5/2016 4:31:34 AM, Diqiucun_Cunmin wrote:
No, I don't mean Reich or Glass. Those are 'emperor's new clothes' composers - there's simply nothing in their music to understand, so it's only natural that you don't understand it.
Philip Glass? I don't mean to derail the thread, but can you expand on what exactly you mean by this?

IMO people like Glass and Reich are the musical equivalent of art that involves drawing a single stripe or splashing random colours on a canvas and calling it 'art'. Minimalism is a fraud - it is boring music dressed up as sophisticated artistry, when in reality it is just boring music. The empty, vacuous music appeals to the philistinism and commercialism of the modern era but has very little artistic merit. You just have to listen to pieces like 'Metamorphosis' to see how little Glass has to offer.
Have you listened to Henry Flynt's You Are My Everlovin / Celestial Power or Arvo Part's Tabula Rasa?

If you already have, than oh well I guess. But if you haven't recommend than. They might change your mind.
Torton
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8/5/2016 5:58:14 AM
Posted: 4 months ago
At 8/5/2016 5:57:37 AM, Torton wrote:
At 8/5/2016 5:38:35 AM, Diqiucun_Cunmin wrote:
At 8/5/2016 5:12:19 AM, Torton wrote:
At 8/5/2016 4:31:34 AM, Diqiucun_Cunmin wrote:
No, I don't mean Reich or Glass. Those are 'emperor's new clothes' composers - there's simply nothing in their music to understand, so it's only natural that you don't understand it.
Philip Glass? I don't mean to derail the thread, but can you expand on what exactly you mean by this?

IMO people like Glass and Reich are the musical equivalent of art that involves drawing a single stripe or splashing random colours on a canvas and calling it 'art'. Minimalism is a fraud - it is boring music dressed up as sophisticated artistry, when in reality it is just boring music. The empty, vacuous music appeals to the philistinism and commercialism of the modern era but has very little artistic merit. You just have to listen to pieces like 'Metamorphosis' to see how little Glass has to offer.
Have you listened to Henry Flynt's You Are My Everlovin / Celestial Power or Arvo Part's Tabula Rasa?

If you already have, than oh well I guess. But if you haven't, I recommend them. They might change your mind.
Diqiucun_Cunmin
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8/5/2016 12:36:40 PM
Posted: 4 months ago
At 8/5/2016 5:57:37 AM, Torton wrote:
At 8/5/2016 5:38:35 AM, Diqiucun_Cunmin wrote:
At 8/5/2016 5:12:19 AM, Torton wrote:
At 8/5/2016 4:31:34 AM, Diqiucun_Cunmin wrote:
No, I don't mean Reich or Glass. Those are 'emperor's new clothes' composers - there's simply nothing in their music to understand, so it's only natural that you don't understand it.
Philip Glass? I don't mean to derail the thread, but can you expand on what exactly you mean by this?

IMO people like Glass and Reich are the musical equivalent of art that involves drawing a single stripe or splashing random colours on a canvas and calling it 'art'. Minimalism is a fraud - it is boring music dressed up as sophisticated artistry, when in reality it is just boring music. The empty, vacuous music appeals to the philistinism and commercialism of the modern era but has very little artistic merit. You just have to listen to pieces like 'Metamorphosis' to see how little Glass has to offer.
Have you listened to Henry Flynt's You Are My Everlovin / Celestial Power or Arvo Part's Tabula Rasa?

If you already have, than oh well I guess. But if you haven't recommend than. They might change your mind.

Sorry, but I couldn't listen to the Flynt pieces in their entirety - I had too little tolerance for him, to be honest. Hope you understand.

I agree, the Part was better than most minimalist work. It's not as good as, say, Boulez or Penderecki, but it's better than Flynt.
The thing is, I hate relativism. I hate relativism more than I hate everything else, excepting, maybe, fibreglass powerboats... What it overlooks, to put it briefly and crudely, is the fixed structure of human nature. - Jerry Fodor

Don't be a stat cynic:
http://www.debate.org...

Response to conservative views on deforestation:
http://www.debate.org...

Topics I'd like to debate (not debating ATM): http://tinyurl.com...
000ike
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8/5/2016 4:47:57 PM
Posted: 4 months ago
With the exception of adagietto from Symphony 5, there's nothing I've heard from Mahler that makes sense to me .... same applies to John Cage and Bela Bartok. I also didn't develop an appreciation for Prokofiev until I heard sections of his string quartet no. 2 performed live and analyzed in an introductory composition course I took two years ago. He's one of the most idiosyncratic composers of 20th century -- I don't think I've heard music quite like his anywhere.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
Diqiucun_Cunmin
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8/5/2016 4:54:13 PM
Posted: 4 months ago
At 8/5/2016 4:47:57 PM, 000ike wrote:
With the exception of adagietto from Symphony 5, there's nothing I've heard from Mahler that makes sense to me .... same applies to John Cage and Bela Bartok.
I'm relieved someone shares my sentiments about Mahler XD For Bartok, I think you should start from his piano works (e.g. the sonata, the sonatina). Maybe you can take it from there ^^
I also didn't develop an appreciation for Prokofiev until I heard sections of his string quartet no. 2 performed live and analyzed in an introductory composition course I took two years ago. He's one of the most idiosyncratic composers of 20th century -- I don't think I've heard music quite like his anywhere.
True.
The thing is, I hate relativism. I hate relativism more than I hate everything else, excepting, maybe, fibreglass powerboats... What it overlooks, to put it briefly and crudely, is the fixed structure of human nature. - Jerry Fodor

Don't be a stat cynic:
http://www.debate.org...

Response to conservative views on deforestation:
http://www.debate.org...

Topics I'd like to debate (not debating ATM): http://tinyurl.com...
missmozart
Posts: 306
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8/5/2016 7:08:01 PM
Posted: 4 months ago
At 8/5/2016 4:47:57 PM, 000ike wrote:
With the exception of adagietto from Symphony 5, there's nothing I've heard from Mahler that makes sense to me .... same applies to John Cage and Bela Bartok. I also didn't develop an appreciation for Prokofiev until I heard sections of his string quartet no. 2 performed live and analyzed in an introductory composition course I took two years ago. He's one of the most idiosyncratic composers of 20th century -- I don't think I've heard music quite like his anywhere.

Listen to Prokofiev's piano sonatas. I would recommend no.6 fourth movement and op. 14 (d minor) especially the second movement. Amazing!
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Subutai
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8/6/2016 4:30:25 PM
Posted: 4 months ago
At 8/5/2016 4:31:34 AM, Diqiucun_Cunmin wrote:
-Gustav Mahler. I know many people are Mahler fanatics, but I really don't get what he's doing. I way prefer the traditional symphonies from Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, etc., which employ familiar forms and are generally more accessible.

I'm by no means a Mahler fanatic, but I do appreciate his symphonies, particularly his 5th, 9th, and 10th symphonies (the latter was uncompleted, although there are various "complete" interpretations of it). The symphonies before his 5th are too rambling for me. They seem to lack drive or concrete substance. After that, I really like his symphonies, although I can still see someone not understanding them.
I'm becoming less defined as days go by, fading away, and well you might say, I'm losing focus, kinda drifting into the abstract in terms of how I see myself.
Subutai
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8/6/2016 4:37:09 PM
Posted: 4 months ago
At 8/5/2016 4:31:34 AM, Diqiucun_Cunmin wrote:

To answer your question, the only popular ones that come to mind are John Cage and Rachmaninoff (although only his piano works). The former I feel just liked experimenting without any specific goal in mind. His attempts at redefining music just seemed to make the word lack any meaning whatsoever. The latter's piano works are simply too dry and aimless for me to appreciate. Nevertheless, I do understand and like his symphonic works.

I used to not understand Schoenberg, but, after repeated listening, I finally acquired a taste for his atonal style.
I'm becoming less defined as days go by, fading away, and well you might say, I'm losing focus, kinda drifting into the abstract in terms of how I see myself.
Diqiucun_Cunmin
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8/6/2016 4:45:56 PM
Posted: 4 months ago
At 8/6/2016 4:30:25 PM, Subutai wrote:
At 8/5/2016 4:31:34 AM, Diqiucun_Cunmin wrote:
-Gustav Mahler. I know many people are Mahler fanatics, but I really don't get what he's doing. I way prefer the traditional symphonies from Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, etc., which employ familiar forms and are generally more accessible.

I'm by no means a Mahler fanatic, but I do appreciate his symphonies, particularly his 5th, 9th, and 10th symphonies (the latter was uncompleted, although there are various "complete" interpretations of it). The symphonies before his 5th are too rambling for me. They seem to lack drive or concrete substance. After that, I really like his symphonies, although I can still see someone not understanding them.

I see. Any tips you can give for better understanding them? Good recordings, books, etc. you'd recommend? (I've read about Mahler before, but it didn't really help and what I read didn't really stick...)
The thing is, I hate relativism. I hate relativism more than I hate everything else, excepting, maybe, fibreglass powerboats... What it overlooks, to put it briefly and crudely, is the fixed structure of human nature. - Jerry Fodor

Don't be a stat cynic:
http://www.debate.org...

Response to conservative views on deforestation:
http://www.debate.org...

Topics I'd like to debate (not debating ATM): http://tinyurl.com...
Diqiucun_Cunmin
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8/6/2016 4:51:51 PM
Posted: 4 months ago
At 8/6/2016 4:37:09 PM, Subutai wrote:
At 8/5/2016 4:31:34 AM, Diqiucun_Cunmin wrote:

To answer your question, the only popular ones that come to mind are John Cage and Rachmaninoff (although only his piano works). The former I feel just liked experimenting without any specific goal in mind. His attempts at redefining music just seemed to make the word lack any meaning whatsoever.
Agreed. His music was experimental... but I can't help feeling most of his experiments are failures. That's the cost of experimentation, I guess.
The latter's piano works are simply too dry and aimless for me to appreciate. Nevertheless, I do understand and like his symphonic works.
Which category would you put the concerti in? (Sorry if it's obvious to you, but it wasn't to me, and I guess the concerti are his most important works, so they're pivotal to understanding what you feel about Rach...)

If by piano works you're mostly thinking about the solo ones (preludes, moments musicaux, etudes-tableaux), then I certainly sympathise with your position... I don't think any of them were particularly memorable to me, except 23/5 (which keeps getting stuck in my head once in a while - probably kept in the same brain compartment as 'Rage Over a Lost Penny' :P). My favourite thing about Rach, though, is his Russian knack for melody, which he shares with Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Prokofiev, etc. Which makes me a rather superficial Rach listener XD
I used to not understand Schoenberg, but, after repeated listening, I finally acquired a taste for his atonal style.
Yes, the second Viennese school has a very distinct style that is very much an acquired taste... I still haven't acquired it tbh, but I've learnt to admire Schoenberg and his students as composers and artists (I used to despise them lol.)
The thing is, I hate relativism. I hate relativism more than I hate everything else, excepting, maybe, fibreglass powerboats... What it overlooks, to put it briefly and crudely, is the fixed structure of human nature. - Jerry Fodor

Don't be a stat cynic:
http://www.debate.org...

Response to conservative views on deforestation:
http://www.debate.org...

Topics I'd like to debate (not debating ATM): http://tinyurl.com...
Subutai
Posts: 3,227
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8/6/2016 4:56:20 PM
Posted: 4 months ago
At 8/6/2016 4:45:56 PM, Diqiucun_Cunmin wrote:
At 8/6/2016 4:30:25 PM, Subutai wrote:
At 8/5/2016 4:31:34 AM, Diqiucun_Cunmin wrote:
-Gustav Mahler. I know many people are Mahler fanatics, but I really don't get what he's doing. I way prefer the traditional symphonies from Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, etc., which employ familiar forms and are generally more accessible.

I'm by no means a Mahler fanatic, but I do appreciate his symphonies, particularly his 5th, 9th, and 10th symphonies (the latter was uncompleted, although there are various "complete" interpretations of it). The symphonies before his 5th are too rambling for me. They seem to lack drive or concrete substance. After that, I really like his symphonies, although I can still see someone not understanding them.

I see. Any tips you can give for better understanding them? Good recordings, books, etc. you'd recommend? (I've read about Mahler before, but it didn't really help and what I read didn't really stick...)

I haven't read much into Mahler. The music class I took in university glossed over his works, and I haven't had much exposure to him elsewhere. As for recordings, my favorite of his 5th is Karajan's version, as he conducted the whole symphony, and particularly the adagietto, slower than other conductors. I haven't listened to his 9th as much, but the version I regularly listen to is Maderna's, which I find beautiful. The oft cited "best" interpretation of Mahler's 10th is Cooke's. I will say, unlike 5 and 9, 10 is much more dissonant and much less beautiful. Below are links to those versions.

https://www.youtube.com... (5th)
https://www.youtube.com... (9th)
https://www.youtube.com... (10th)
I'm becoming less defined as days go by, fading away, and well you might say, I'm losing focus, kinda drifting into the abstract in terms of how I see myself.
Subutai
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8/6/2016 5:05:26 PM
Posted: 4 months ago
At 8/6/2016 4:51:51 PM, Diqiucun_Cunmin wrote:
At 8/6/2016 4:37:09 PM, Subutai wrote:
At 8/5/2016 4:31:34 AM, Diqiucun_Cunmin wrote:

The latter's piano works are simply too dry and aimless for me to appreciate. Nevertheless, I do understand and like his symphonic works.
Which category would you put the concerti in? (Sorry if it's obvious to you, but it wasn't to me, and I guess the concerti are his most important works, so they're pivotal to understanding what you feel about Rach...)


I honestly haven't listened to Rachmaninoff in a while, so I dont remember if I found the concerti any better than his other piano works. I'll have to give those a relisten. My favorite works of his are Isle of the Dead and Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom.
If by piano works you're mostly thinking about the solo ones (preludes, moments musicaux, etudes-tableaux), then I certainly sympathise with your position... I don't think any of them were particularly memorable to me, except 23/5 (which keeps getting stuck in my head once in a while - probably kept in the same brain compartment as 'Rage Over a Lost Penny' :P). My favourite thing about Rach, though, is his Russian knack for melody, which he shares with Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Prokofiev, etc. Which makes me a rather superficial Rach listener XD

I really like Russian composers. There's something about Russian classical style that resonates with me. I find the same thing with German romantic composers (particularly Brahms, Wagner, and Dvorak (although I guess the latter is Czech)).
I'm becoming less defined as days go by, fading away, and well you might say, I'm losing focus, kinda drifting into the abstract in terms of how I see myself.
000ike
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8/7/2016 1:39:44 AM
Posted: 4 months ago
At 8/5/2016 4:54:13 PM, Diqiucun_Cunmin wrote:
At 8/5/2016 4:47:57 PM, 000ike wrote:
With the exception of adagietto from Symphony 5, there's nothing I've heard from Mahler that makes sense to me .... same applies to John Cage and Bela Bartok.
I'm relieved someone shares my sentiments about Mahler XD For Bartok, I think you should start from his piano works (e.g. the sonata, the sonatina). Maybe you can take it from there ^^

lol you're actually the first person I've seen who doesn't, I guess "intuitively" appreciate mahler's music -- the way people describe it, I would have assumed it was as melodious and expressive as most other romantic symphonies. Most of it just sounds like discursive noises from the strings - when I think he intends to develop a melody or resolve a chord a certain way he doesn't - the symphonies are like ephemeral glimpses of something beautiful yet intentionally shrouded.

As a general principle I can't enjoy music if I don't come away with anything to hum or even remember ... and that's precisely the problem I have with atonal music and all the avant-garde concoctions of the postmodern era ... although, it does seem that with time my conception of what's memorable has expanded. I once told my music teacher that I would have been one of the rioters at the premier of Rite of Spring lol, but not any more.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
Diqiucun_Cunmin
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8/7/2016 6:48:24 AM
Posted: 4 months ago
At 8/6/2016 4:56:20 PM, Subutai wrote:
At 8/6/2016 4:45:56 PM, Diqiucun_Cunmin wrote:
At 8/6/2016 4:30:25 PM, Subutai wrote:
At 8/5/2016 4:31:34 AM, Diqiucun_Cunmin wrote:
-Gustav Mahler. I know many people are Mahler fanatics, but I really don't get what he's doing. I way prefer the traditional symphonies from Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, etc., which employ familiar forms and are generally more accessible.

I'm by no means a Mahler fanatic, but I do appreciate his symphonies, particularly his 5th, 9th, and 10th symphonies (the latter was uncompleted, although there are various "complete" interpretations of it). The symphonies before his 5th are too rambling for me. They seem to lack drive or concrete substance. After that, I really like his symphonies, although I can still see someone not understanding them.

I see. Any tips you can give for better understanding them? Good recordings, books, etc. you'd recommend? (I've read about Mahler before, but it didn't really help and what I read didn't really stick...)

I haven't read much into Mahler. The music class I took in university glossed over his works, and I haven't had much exposure to him elsewhere. As for recordings, my favorite of his 5th is Karajan's version, as he conducted the whole symphony, and particularly the adagietto, slower than other conductors. I haven't listened to his 9th as much, but the version I regularly listen to is Maderna's, which I find beautiful. The oft cited "best" interpretation of Mahler's 10th is Cooke's. I will say, unlike 5 and 9, 10 is much more dissonant and much less beautiful. Below are links to those versions.

https://www.youtube.com... (5th)
https://www.youtube.com... (9th)
https://www.youtube.com... (10th)

Thanks, I'll sink my teeth into those :)
The thing is, I hate relativism. I hate relativism more than I hate everything else, excepting, maybe, fibreglass powerboats... What it overlooks, to put it briefly and crudely, is the fixed structure of human nature. - Jerry Fodor

Don't be a stat cynic:
http://www.debate.org...

Response to conservative views on deforestation:
http://www.debate.org...

Topics I'd like to debate (not debating ATM): http://tinyurl.com...
Diqiucun_Cunmin
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8/7/2016 6:51:11 AM
Posted: 4 months ago
At 8/6/2016 5:05:26 PM, Subutai wrote:
At 8/6/2016 4:51:51 PM, Diqiucun_Cunmin wrote:
At 8/6/2016 4:37:09 PM, Subutai wrote:
At 8/5/2016 4:31:34 AM, Diqiucun_Cunmin wrote:

The latter's piano works are simply too dry and aimless for me to appreciate. Nevertheless, I do understand and like his symphonic works.
Which category would you put the concerti in? (Sorry if it's obvious to you, but it wasn't to me, and I guess the concerti are his most important works, so they're pivotal to understanding what you feel about Rach...)


I honestly haven't listened to Rachmaninoff in a while, so I dont remember if I found the concerti any better than his other piano works. I'll have to give those a relisten. My favorite works of his are Isle of the Dead and Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom.
I see... unfortunately, I'm not a big fan of those symphonic works, for some reason.
If by piano works you're mostly thinking about the solo ones (preludes, moments musicaux, etudes-tableaux), then I certainly sympathise with your position... I don't think any of them were particularly memorable to me, except 23/5 (which keeps getting stuck in my head once in a while - probably kept in the same brain compartment as 'Rage Over a Lost Penny' :P). My favourite thing about Rach, though, is his Russian knack for melody, which he shares with Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Prokofiev, etc. Which makes me a rather superficial Rach listener XD

I really like Russian composers. There's something about Russian classical style that resonates with me. I find the same thing with German romantic composers (particularly Brahms, Wagner, and Dvorak (although I guess the latter is Czech)).
Maybe it's the influence from the folk tunes? I dunno. I'm not terribly familiar with Wagner, though AFAIK he was very innovative and completely different from the more classically-minded Brahms. So I find it interesting that the two ends of the German Romantic scale seemed to resonate with you in the same way...
The thing is, I hate relativism. I hate relativism more than I hate everything else, excepting, maybe, fibreglass powerboats... What it overlooks, to put it briefly and crudely, is the fixed structure of human nature. - Jerry Fodor

Don't be a stat cynic:
http://www.debate.org...

Response to conservative views on deforestation:
http://www.debate.org...

Topics I'd like to debate (not debating ATM): http://tinyurl.com...
Diqiucun_Cunmin
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8/7/2016 6:56:49 AM
Posted: 4 months ago
At 8/7/2016 1:39:44 AM, 000ike wrote:
At 8/5/2016 4:54:13 PM, Diqiucun_Cunmin wrote:
At 8/5/2016 4:47:57 PM, 000ike wrote:
With the exception of adagietto from Symphony 5, there's nothing I've heard from Mahler that makes sense to me .... same applies to John Cage and Bela Bartok.
I'm relieved someone shares my sentiments about Mahler XD For Bartok, I think you should start from his piano works (e.g. the sonata, the sonatina). Maybe you can take it from there ^^

lol you're actually the first person I've seen who doesn't, I guess "intuitively" appreciate mahler's music -- the way people describe it, I would have assumed it was as melodious and expressive as most other romantic symphonies. Most of it just sounds like discursive noises from the strings - when I think he intends to develop a melody or resolve a chord a certain way he doesn't - the symphonies are like ephemeral glimpses of something beautiful yet intentionally shrouded.
Really? TBH I'm not a very big fan of Romantic symphonies in general, apart from the more conservative Brahms. After Brahms, the only set of symphonies that I really adore is Shostakotivch's. Perhaps I'm simply not fond of the fragmentary style that you described...
As a general principle I can't enjoy music if I don't come away with anything to hum or even remember ... and that's precisely the problem I have with atonal music and all the avant-garde concoctions of the postmodern era ... although, it does seem that with time my conception of what's memorable has expanded. I once told my music teacher that I would have been one of the rioters at the premier of Rite of Spring lol, but not any more.
I see. Perhaps that's why you enjoy Prokofiev more - he had quite a few memorable melodies.
The thing is, I hate relativism. I hate relativism more than I hate everything else, excepting, maybe, fibreglass powerboats... What it overlooks, to put it briefly and crudely, is the fixed structure of human nature. - Jerry Fodor

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Subutai
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8/7/2016 2:50:58 PM
Posted: 4 months ago
At 8/7/2016 6:51:11 AM, Diqiucun_Cunmin wrote:
At 8/6/2016 5:05:26 PM, Subutai wrote:
At 8/6/2016 4:51:51 PM, Diqiucun_Cunmin wrote:
At 8/6/2016 4:37:09 PM, Subutai wrote:
At 8/5/2016 4:31:34 AM, Diqiucun_Cunmin wrote:
If by piano works you're mostly thinking about the solo ones (preludes, moments musicaux, etudes-tableaux), then I certainly sympathise with your position... I don't think any of them were particularly memorable to me, except 23/5 (which keeps getting stuck in my head once in a while - probably kept in the same brain compartment as 'Rage Over a Lost Penny' :P). My favourite thing about Rach, though, is his Russian knack for melody, which he shares with Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Prokofiev, etc. Which makes me a rather superficial Rach listener XD

I really like Russian composers. There's something about Russian classical style that resonates with me. I find the same thing with German romantic composers (particularly Brahms, Wagner, and Dvorak (although I guess the latter is Czech)).
Maybe it's the influence from the folk tunes? I dunno. I'm not terribly familiar with Wagner, though AFAIK he was very innovative and completely different from the more classically-minded Brahms. So I find it interesting that the two ends of the German Romantic scale seemed to resonate with you in the same way...

That's probably the main reason. Wagner was innovative because he was basically the musical voice of 19th century nationalism. The combination of national folk music, ancient pagan inspirations, and military style rhythms was unique at the time. Brahms, on the other hand, I always look at as an extension of Beethoven. He still included folk elements, but it was much more rooted in traditional methods. I like both of these themes, even though they are very different. I find my musical taste often straddles extremes.
I'm becoming less defined as days go by, fading away, and well you might say, I'm losing focus, kinda drifting into the abstract in terms of how I see myself.
000ike
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8/8/2016 5:57:32 PM
Posted: 4 months ago
At 8/7/2016 6:56:49 AM, Diqiucun_Cunmin wrote:

Really? TBH I'm not a very big fan of Romantic symphonies in general, apart from the more conservative Brahms. After Brahms, the only set of symphonies that I really adore is Shostakotivch's. Perhaps I'm simply not fond of the fragmentary style that you described...

lol Brahms is another romantic composer I don't understand - forgot to list him. For reference, my favorite composers are dvorak, tchaikovsky, mozart, schubert and mendelssohn. I can appreciate music that's radically different from their works (rite of spring, quartet for the end of time, come to mind) -- I can appreciate what makes postmodern compositions progressive, original and exciting for their time, but in the end, the only thing that can move me -- the only music I (and indeed most classical concert-goers) can sincerely regard as stirring, profound, or sublime -- is a modest, tonal melody. That is why most concert programs will always reserve the tonal classics for last, and on the rare occasion that they instead list a post-modern piece last, or list only post-modern pieces after the intermission, they find that half the audience has left. Is there really any amount of analysis that can change that?

So who are your favorites?

As a general principle I can't enjoy music if I don't come away with anything to hum or even remember ... and that's precisely the problem I have with atonal music and all the avant-garde concoctions of the postmodern era ... although, it does seem that with time my conception of what's memorable has expanded. I once told my music teacher that I would have been one of the rioters at the premier of Rite of Spring lol, but not any more.
I see. Perhaps that's why you enjoy Prokofiev more - he had quite a few memorable melodies.

lol actually I didn't have Peter and the Wolf or Romeo and Juliette in mind when I mentioned that I liked prokofiev --- it was more so the cadenza from his second piano concerto and suggestion diabolique. I suppose both of those pieces too have melodies, but they're not quite as conventional.

By the way, I did listen to bartok's sonatina, which you had referenced, and I really liked the first movement "bagpipes" -- the rest, not so much.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
Lynx_N
Posts: 277
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8/9/2016 7:45:48 PM
Posted: 4 months ago
I can find (some of) Wagner's music to be kinda boring, uninspiring, un-surpriseful, doesn't really move me the way Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, et al, does.
By all means, his music isn't utter rubbish, don't get me wrong, it's just that I me myself find it to be a tad boring, almost predictable kinda like.
Thank God for diversity as there's without a doubt a whole bunch of Wagner fans out there who strongly disagrees with me on this, as there should be.
Bronto?
Congrats.

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Diqiucun_Cunmin
Posts: 2,710
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8/10/2016 4:35:13 PM
Posted: 4 months ago
At 8/8/2016 5:57:32 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 8/7/2016 6:56:49 AM, Diqiucun_Cunmin wrote:

Really? TBH I'm not a very big fan of Romantic symphonies in general, apart from the more conservative Brahms. After Brahms, the only set of symphonies that I really adore is Shostakotivch's. Perhaps I'm simply not fond of the fragmentary style that you described...

lol Brahms is another romantic composer I don't understand - forgot to list him.
Really? XD Are you fond of Beethoven? If so, maybe you could reading some analyses while listening to his works, which might help. :) The symphonies are actually the most 'likeable' works from him, so perhaps you could re-listen to them with the aid of a musical analysis. Btw, the sextet is great, if you haven't listened to that.
I can appreciate music that's radically different from their works (rite of spring, quartet for the end of time, come to mind) -- I can appreciate what makes postmodern compositions progressive, original and exciting for their time, but in the end, the only thing that can move me -- the only music I (and indeed most classical concert-goers) can sincerely regard as stirring, profound, or sublime -- is a modest, tonal melody. That is why most concert programs will always reserve the tonal classics for last, and on the rare occasion that they instead list a post-modern piece last, or list only post-modern pieces after the intermission, they find that half the audience has left. Is there really any amount of analysis that can change that?
Ahh, actually, Messiaen is another guy I don't get at all XD

I think it depends on the piece... Prokofiev's third piano concerto will always be good at attracting people, but Schoenberg's piano concerto, probably not so much. (In the same concert where Ashkenazy conducted the Elgar symphony, he did the Prokofiev concerto with a young pianist before the intermission - it was amazing.) I think those would be modernist rather than postmodernist though (postmodernist would be more like Ligeti, Cage, Xenakis, Stockhausen etc. - the stuff that nobody understands).

So who are your favorites?
I listed some in my profile, but among the romantics, my favourites are Chopin (who doesn't like him - well, except Glenn Gould), Liszt, Brahms, Dvorak and Faure. There are works from Schumann, Mendelssohn and Alkan (whom you may not have heard of) that I like as well.
lol actually I didn't have Peter and the Wolf or Romeo and Juliette in mind when I mentioned that I liked prokofiev --- it was more so the cadenza from his second piano concerto and suggestion diabolique. I suppose both of those pieces too have melodies, but they're not quite as conventional.
I see, haha. Suggestion diabolique certainly isn't about beautiful melodies... (BTW what do you think about the third piano concerto or the violin concerti?)
The thing is, I hate relativism. I hate relativism more than I hate everything else, excepting, maybe, fibreglass powerboats... What it overlooks, to put it briefly and crudely, is the fixed structure of human nature. - Jerry Fodor

Don't be a stat cynic:
http://www.debate.org...

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Diqiucun_Cunmin
Posts: 2,710
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8/10/2016 4:36:35 PM
Posted: 4 months ago
At 8/10/2016 4:35:13 PM, Diqiucun_Cunmin wrote:
At 8/8/2016 5:57:32 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 8/7/2016 6:56:49 AM, Diqiucun_Cunmin wrote:

Really? TBH I'm not a very big fan of Romantic symphonies in general, apart from the more conservative Brahms. After Brahms, the only set of symphonies that I really adore is Shostakotivch's. Perhaps I'm simply not fond of the fragmentary style that you described...

lol Brahms is another romantic composer I don't understand - forgot to list him.
Really? XD Are you fond of Beethoven? If so, maybe you could reading some analyses while listening to his works, which might help. :) The symphonies are actually the most 'likeable' works from him, so perhaps you could re-listen to them with the aid of a musical analysis. Btw, the sextet is great, if you haven't listened to that.
I can appreciate music that's radically different from their works (rite of spring, quartet for the end of time, come to mind) -- I can appreciate what makes postmodern compositions progressive, original and exciting for their time, but in the end, the only thing that can move me -- the only music I (and indeed most classical concert-goers) can sincerely regard as stirring, profound, or sublime -- is a modest, tonal melody. That is why most concert programs will always reserve the tonal classics for last, and on the rare occasion that they instead list a post-modern piece last, or list only post-modern pieces after the intermission, they find that half the audience has left. Is there really any amount of analysis that can change that?
Ahh, actually, Messiaen is another guy I don't get at all XD

I think it depends on the piece... Prokofiev's third piano concerto will always be good at attracting people, but Schoenberg's piano concerto, probably not so much. (In the same concert where Ashkenazy conducted the Elgar symphony, he did the Prokofiev concerto with a young pianist before the intermission - it was amazing.) I think those would be modernist rather than postmodernist though (postmodernist would be more like Ligeti, Cage, Xenakis, Stockhausen etc. - the stuff that nobody understands).

So who are your favorites?
I listed some in my profile, but among the romantics, my favourites are Chopin (who doesn't like him - well, except Glenn Gould), Liszt, Brahms, Dvorak and Faure. There are works from Schumann, Mendelssohn and Alkan (whom you may not have heard of) that I like as well.
Oh, how could I forget - and Taneyev, who was a student of Tchaikovsky :) He had the same craftsmanship that was characteristic of Brahms.
lol actually I didn't have Peter and the Wolf or Romeo and Juliette in mind when I mentioned that I liked prokofiev --- it was more so the cadenza from his second piano concerto and suggestion diabolique. I suppose both of those pieces too have melodies, but they're not quite as conventional.
I see, haha. Suggestion diabolique certainly isn't about beautiful melodies... (BTW what do you think about the third piano concerto or the violin concerti?)
The thing is, I hate relativism. I hate relativism more than I hate everything else, excepting, maybe, fibreglass powerboats... What it overlooks, to put it briefly and crudely, is the fixed structure of human nature. - Jerry Fodor

Don't be a stat cynic:
http://www.debate.org...

Response to conservative views on deforestation:
http://www.debate.org...

Topics I'd like to debate (not debating ATM): http://tinyurl.com...
Tree_of_Death
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9/6/2016 3:09:07 AM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/5/2016 4:31:34 AM, Diqiucun_Cunmin wrote:

The one that comes to mind is Shostakovich. Some of his pieces are understandable, but most (especially Symphony no. 4) are just bizarre. I suppose that comes from the machinery-esque music style popular in 1920's Soviet Russia.
"If life were easy, it wouldn't be difficult."--Kermit the Frog

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