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Innocent Classical Music Observation

Tony Alicea
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Classical Music Yeahhhh......

I hope to share and ask your opinions about when you got the impression that classical was worth your listening attention (if ever).

If you never thought so, you don't need to post anything.

Whatever you do, please don't demean classical music lovers, please.

Now that we are clear, I can say that the first classical music that I heard (and I am 54 years old) was played by my dear father who is still alive, the 6th Symphony of Beethoven, the Pastoral.

I was too young to assimilate the whole of it but I just loved it! It sounded so PRETTY to my ears.

Then it as the opera Aida some of which I got to hear in my 1st Grade Graduation! Ha ha!

After that, when I became a teenager, I guess even though I may have retained in my subconscious how good music... should sound, ... I digress... SORRY!

(Next post....) I'm still listening to Beethoven's 6th.... sorrrrrrrrry...
Marilyn de Queiroz
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My father's favorite was Beethoven's 9th Symphony. I liked it, but wasn't crazy about it. Playing in the orchestra also brought other classical pieces to my ears.

But it wasn't until I heard Beethoven's 7th Symphony that I really fell in love with classical music. Then I took a few (3) music appreciation courses and really learned to understand some of why I love it so much (besides the fact that so much of it really moves me emotionally).


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Jim Yingst
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The earliest classical music that I remember making an impression was Also Sprach Zarathustra by Richard Strauss. Most people seem to know this as the "theme from 2001". Well, I was born a few months after 2001: A Space Odyssey was released, but I didn't see it myself until much, much later. No, the reason I know the music is because Sesame Street (which began about a year after I was born) used the music in short animated sequences. Which were in fact partly inspired by 2001. Others who used to watch Sesame Street may remember: the screen would show a huge stone monotlith on a plain. (Light colored, not black like in 2001.) The music would begin, and as it built up, the monolith would begin shaking as if from an earthquake. By the time the typani arrived, the monolith was collapsing into a pile or rubble - revealing behind it, a large carved stone letter or numeral. Namely, the letter or number they were teaching you about in that episode. (Remember "this episode was brought to you by the letter M and the number 7"? Stuff like that.) Sounds lame to adults, but it made a big impression on me during my first few years. Much later I performed it in marching band, and found out it wasn't actually written for either Sesame Street or 2001. Go figure.

I also have strong memories of Mussorgsky's Night on Bald Mountain which I knew from Fantasia. A movie that had a number of other well-known tunes, many of them "pretty" (yawn). But of course the one I responded to was the one with the huge winged demon Chernabog on a rampage. And gee, many years later, guess what was my favorite scene from The Fellowship of the Rings?
[ June 26, 2004: Message edited by: Jim Yingst ]

"I'm not back." - Bill Harding, Twister
M Monroe
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Joined: Jun 25, 2004
Posts: 7
Wow everyone! I was superised to find a thread here on classical music. I just happend to glance this way and I must say, I am estatic. I love classical music also and wanted to wish you all a superb bravo for your posts!
Tony Alicea
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Actually the Ninth (Of Beethoven of course ) is my favorite, Marilyn. I heard it much later (that is, as an adult not as a kid like I did the 6th).

Does anyone remember MSTISLAV ROSTROPOVICH? The Cellist?

I met him in person at the University of Puerto Rico during a Casals Festival. It must have been around 1975.

He performed in the 9th of Beethoven at the theatre of the University. There were people visiting from all around the world there for the Festival. Including the 21 year old female cellist from Venezuela but I digress...

Years later (1980?) I saw the Ninth performed again in Miami. Awesome.

I hope I can see it performed again before... I can't

The best birthday gift I received during my early forties was an excellent audio CD of the 9th given to my by a (very mature in mind) 19 year old female who was my excellent friend then. (I digress again! Somebody shoot me, please! Ha ha!)

It was performed by the Vienna Philharmonic. I haven't heard a better interpretation.
frank davis
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Joined: Feb 12, 2001
Posts: 1479
Originally posted by Tony Alicea:

Now that we are clear, I can say that the first classical music that I heard (and I am 54 years old) was played by my dear father who is still alive, the 6th Symphony of Beethoven, the Pastoral.



My introduction to classical music came through, of all things, Satuday morning cartoons. Bugs Bunny had this episode that was amazingly unique in that it was almost entirely without dialog but featured Rossini's Barber of Seville. Bugs was the Barber and everything he did was in time to the music. It was great and I still love Rossini's works to this day almost 30 years later. A few years after that, a local supermarket was trying to sell a series of classical records and offered the first one for a low price, or maybe free, that my father got me. It was Beethoven's 6th. I loved that also and played it alone (only had a few records, mostly Johnny Cash country stuff) for nearly 3 months.

I was going to write some more but realized that I haven't heard Rossini in many , many years....
Marilyn de Queiroz
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Joined: Jul 22, 2000
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  10
Speaking of Fantasia, Walt Disney showed the Sorcerer's Apprentice (the one with Mickey Mouse) on his TV show once, long before I saw the entire movie. But at the time, I didn't really think of it as "classical" music. I just thought it was sooooooo .
Ellen Zhao
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Joined: Sep 17, 2002
Posts: 581
First of all I have a question here. In CD's catalog I often see both "classic" and "classical", but was never really clear about the difference between them. Anyone please explain it to me? Thank you very much in advance.

The first piece of classic(al) I really listened seriously was Benjamin Britten's "A Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra". The junior middle school I went to offers a course on classic(al) music and that was a must for every student to attend. "A Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra" is the first lesson in the text book. I was attracted. I liked the melody and the harmony. Till now I can recite the music notes of this piece, at least the first several pages. That course lasted for only 2 semesters and about only a dozen of classic(al) music was introduced. I remember Beethoven's "Egmont Overture", Tchaikovsky's No.6 Symphony( A piece I love very much, still remember the note of main subject now), Mussorgsky's
Fantasia, Bedrich Smetana's "My Motherland"...etc. were in the lessons and in the final exam the teacher played a part of Fantasia and asked us to write the title of it.

Then I liked a Chinese writer Fu4 Lei2 who was a great translator of Romain Rolland's works. As a teenager I was deeply thrilled by the musicans R. Rolland biographed and his novel "Jean Christophe" made me look for classic(al) music in a wider range.

German people are crazy for Wagner, but for me even the Beethoven's 9th is a bit too strong. I guess I'm just not mentally tough enough. My favourite is Mozart's works, especially those after K600. His life was filled with miserable things, he got sick so often and his wife was unhealthy too, he was short of money when grown up and his children died one after another...but listen to his music! In his music he never complained even not fought against the fate like Beethoven did, just brought people the joy of living in this world in his purely beautiful music. I believe if there is really a God, Mozart is one among those closest to him. J.S. Bach's music always brought me images of the beautiful old architectures in Italy and never made my heart beat wildly, I love them very much, my cell phone's ringing tone is his Fuga. Georg Friedrich Handel's one of my favourites. It's strange that I'm not a Christian and was grown up in an atheism environment, but I like Handel and Bach's religious Chor very much. Sometimes I have to admit the religion really did people good in many aspects, without the respect and passion to the God, we wouldn't have those great Chors.

I usually read relative books before I listened to the classic(al) music. But the musician I completely fell for without reading anything about him is Antonin Dvorak. One day I was sleeping in bed and the radio was still on, it was sending Dvorak's String Quartet No. 12 in F major "The American". I was overwhelmed by the intimacy, it sounds so much like music from my homeland (the sequence of C,D,E,G,A...) and there's passion which Chinese folk songs lack. The melody is so beautiful. I told my excitement to my boyfriend and he thought I like American classic(al)s. Then he sent me some Aaron Copland's CDs and recommended several other American composers of Aaron's peer. I listened to the CDs and find that's really "American", by no means anything like Dvorak and the European composers, but well, they are American spectaculars, I like them too.

For the matter of music I'm sorry for China. We had good literatures good art but never really science or great music. Our traditional music was way too simple and boring compared to western classic(al)s. Traditionally we didn't have any Chors. And our instruments were only for solo but could never make anything like orchestra, extremely lack of richness. I play a Chinese instrument called pipa, this intrument was greatly reformed according to western music theory in middle 1900's and now much better than the ancient ones. That made it sound much better.
[ June 26, 2004: Message edited by: Ellen Zhao ]
Tony Alicea
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Referring to music in particular in the USA it is referred to as "classical music".

Referring to, for example old cars, 'classic' is used. As in a "1957 classic Chevrolet".

I am no English language teacher but I sympathize with your question about the difference between classic and classical.

Nobody's wrong in the usage of said words, BTW. Nowadays nobody cares, I think...

By that I don't mean that I am in favor of a careless attitude when it comes to the proper use of the language, he he... (Did I state that I am not an English teacher?)

Only that it's so normal for us Americans to call music that is classic "classical music" and to call a cool Chevy from 1957, a classic.
[ June 26, 2004: Message edited by: Tony Alicea ]
Jim Yingst
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I'd say "classical" almost refers to Western classical music as epitomizes by Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Wagner, Verdi, etc. "Classical" is also a more specific period within all of "classical music", running roughly 1750-1820 and exemplified by Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven. Well Beethoven is also Romantic, the next period, but anyway... So "classical music" is all western classical music; "classical period" is a subset of classical music from 1750-1820. Usually "classical" by itself refers to the larger genre, unless you're talking amongst classical music enthusiasts who may assume the more specialized definition. (It usually becomes obvious with a little context.)

Meanwhile "classic" is less well defined; it's more of a relative thing. I agree with Tony's explanation above. If you listen to a radio station that plays rock music, for example, "classic" might mean classic rock, or rock from the late 60's, 70's, early 80's. Another station might use "classic" to refer to music from the 90's, because they'd never ever dream of playing anything from before that, and the 90's are already old to them. If you listen to Jazz, "classic" might be anything from before Miles went into fusion. In other contexts it might mean something else entirely. Sometimes "classic" is indeed used as a synonym for "classical" - but usually not, I think.
Mike Curwen
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I really can't say, because when I try to think back what would have been "the first" time I ever recalled "getting it" in any significant way, I have to go back a bit far.

I dragged mom to go see 'Amadeus' with me when I was all but 11. My uncle gave me a Kiri Te Kanawa CD for Christmas one year when I was in junior high.

Beethoven's 5th and 9th, of course, played huge roles in my growing appreciation, as did Also Sprach Zarathustra (and not just the loud parts)
Jim Yingst
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Also Sprach Zarathustra (and not just the loud parts)

Well sure. You need that really quiet part at the beginning to trick the listener into turning up the volume, for full effect.
Jim Yingst
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Herb - yeah, Bugs Bunny and other cartoons had a big role in introducing me to classical music when I was a kid. The Barber of Seville episode was a goodie. But how could you leave off "Kill the wabbit!!" (See "Kill wabbit2" here.) Sadly, most real Wagner was not this fun.
Bert Bates
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Ah Marilyn -

The 7th is my favorite of all time! And I never took a course, so I don't know why



Now you have to take this with a grain of salt, because when asked, I will tell you that my two favorites are Beethoven and...

The Grateful Dead !

(now there's some "classical" music for you )


Spot false dilemmas now, ask me how!
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Marilyn de Queiroz
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Ahhh. Dvorak. Another composer I really like a lot.

When I was in high school, I had a small transister radio. At night I could pick up more stations. Frequently I could pick up a station that was playing classical music. One night I heard Brahams' 1st sextet and fell in love with it, but I never knew what it was until many, many years later.

One thing I liked about the Fantasia movie is that it included lots of different types of classical music, Bach's Toccata, Beethoven's 6th Symphony, Dukas' Sorcerer's Apprentice, Mussourgsky's Night on Bald Mountain, Puccini's The Dance of the Hours, Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker, and Stravinski's Rite of Spring. Unfortunately, it is now out of print.
Warren Dew
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While it is indeed out of print, Amazon apparently still has some copies of Fantasia in stock.
Axel Janssen
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As a kid I loved Mozart. The others were fans of Abba, BeeGees, Suzy Quatro and other 70ties for-the-masses-stuff.
I am not really a classic fan, but I like Mahler (the best), Bach, 5th of Bethoven and some of the russians (Rachmaninov I think is name of the best of those).
 
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