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Classical music

Discussion in 'Music, Box Office, TV & Books' started by Fatboy123, 20 Feb 2021.

  1. Fatboy123

    Associate

    Joined: 23 Aug 2020

    Posts: 15

    When reading in the evening or when in need of some background sound I often play classical music.

    Thing is 85% of the time it's so quiet you can't hear it so have to crank it up to stupid levels and pray it doesn't have a loud section OR you get the opposite and are permanently adjusting the volume. Bolero being a case in point.

    So what's the best way to listen to classical music?
     
  2. Narj

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    Joined: 19 Feb 2010

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    Location: London

    I just use decent quality headphones because, yeah, it can come as a bit of a shock using speakers in the evening :D

    Only way around it is to listen to something that doesn't have such a massive dynamic range (or ruin it all by normalising MP3s :p).

    While we're on the subject, I've re-discovered the Jessye Norman album of Richard Strauss' Four Last Songs after having a bit of a sort-out of my CD collection. Bloody amazing.
     
  3. Derek W

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    Location: Glebe Park



    The only way to listen to it :cool::D
     
  4. stockhausen

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    If you are "reading in the evening" you are probably not "listening" to classical music - sorry :(

    It has taken me years to realise that there is some fantastic Classical music and some that just doesn't do it for me - Opera and Chamber music is hugely popular but by and large doesn't appeal to me. For what it is worth, there are some fantastic music and spoken word programs on BBC Radio 3 that you could listen to.

    You could look for "Short Ride in a Fast Machine" by John Adams on Spotify. Schostakovich, Mahler and Mendelssohn work for me and of course there is always Stockhausen who isn't everyone's favourite ;) Personally I love his "Hymnen".
     
  5. Narj

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    Location: London

    Stuff for reading tends to be more what I'd describe as "lift music" - ie: something you don't really need to pay attention to. :D

    I can't have anything too involved on in the background while I'm reading tbh because it distracts me too much.
     
  6. RallyMotor

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    Joined: 3 Feb 2021

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    Location: Slough

    For me the best way is to listen to it on a vinyl player in the morning. Kind of tunes for the whole day. Gives the feeling of wealth and wellfare.
     
  7. BUDFORCE

    Mobster

    Joined: 3 May 2012

    Posts: 3,067

    Just listen to Guns N Roses.
     
  8. Nitefly

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 24 Sep 2005

    Posts: 33,700

    With something as inaccessible as classical music (compare with conventional popular music) I find it really helps to listen to pieces many times not paying full attention to it so my ear ‘familiarises’ myself with it. If I gave it my full attention without such ‘ear training’, it’s often too meandering to be engaging.

    I’ve really been enjoying Dvorak’s Brave New World recently, which requires a lot more ear training than some of the more obvious pieces. Well, except the ‘Hovis’ bit.

    It’s really hard to explore classical music as a pop music follower. Many of the classical pieces, despite being excellent, are so overplayed they feel cliched. But if you plonk on something random it’s often really meandering.

    I tried to go through the Planets recently and wasn’t too fussed other than Venus and Jupiter.... which turns out are the ‘popular ones’.

    Welcome to suggestions!
     
  9. stockhausen

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    Shostakovich - Symphony No. 7 (Leningrad)
    Mahler - Symphony No. 1 (Titan)
     
  10. McGray

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    Joined: 8 Dec 2008

    Posts: 5,403

    It depends what you like really. These three were big for me when I began the journey:

    Sheherezade - Korsakov
    Tchaikovsky - Symphony No.2
    Beethoven - Symphony No.7

    Coming back to the OP though, have you considered anything ambient for reading? There's a bit of a resurgence at the moment witht the vaporwave stuff.

    Try 2814 if you're interested (type the numbers in to Spotify).
     
  11. potatolord

    Hitman

    Joined: 21 Jan 2010

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    Scheherezade is fantastic, such a satisfying piece of music.

    Bach's Brandenburg Concerto is an excellent starting place. It's just magnificent, from start to finish. For me, it's one of the greatest works of art ever created.

    If you're looking for something a little more obscure, Mass For Four Voices by William Byrd is a real gem:
     
  12. stockhausen

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    Here is another one for you - Leonard Bernstein's "Mass" from the JFK Center for Performing Arts, Washington, DC.



    Listen and watch!
     
  13. EVH

    Don

    Joined: 11 Mar 2004

    Posts: 28,019

    Location: Wales

    Dynamic range is what classical music is all about. If you want to listen to it “normally” you cause use something like the “sound check” feature in iTunes or “normalise” which will attempt to bring the troughs up and reduce the peaks.
     
  14. Yaayuh!

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    This.

    Though is a shame that this is a thing, normalising classical music just feels so wrong.
     
  15. stockhausen

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    I wonder how that would work with John Cage's "four minutes, thirty-three seconds"? ;)

    I do agree that Classical music does tend to involve far more quiet passages than people are accustomed to in modern music.

    Hearing / seeing a live performance is special and so different to listening to a Classical concert over the air or listening to one on vinyl, even on a decent system.
     
  16. Maccy

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    Location: Herts

    Can you really class 4:33 as "Classical Music" ?
     
  17. stockhausen

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    Personally, no, I can't. However I do think that the piece (or more specifically its justification) is actually quite interesting:



    I particularly like the idea of listening while waiting for a bus, in the shower, while crossing a busy road - is music everywhere if only we can hear it?

    There are occasional terrific items on Radio 3 early in the morning based on a combination of bird song and what most people would describe as "Classical music"; I love the sound of lapping waves, of waterfalls, the wind in the trees, a sleeping person's breathing, pipes creaking when the central heating comes on.

    Music is sound - is sound music?
     
  18. Lysander

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    Location: Flatland

    These threads are so difficult to engage in effectively. There are so many different types of classical, so many different styles and eras.

    It's like saying "recommend me rock music" or "recommend me world music". Where the hell do you even start.

    Does the OP want music with a discernible rhythm or not? Choral, ensemble or orchestral? Energetic, epic, dark, calming, avant-garde or mystical? Really need more information.

    Also OP really needs to give more examples of what he's been listening to and what he's enjoyed for his reading.
     
  19. McGray

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    OP hasn't posted since so it's all rather pointless.
     
  20. Feek

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    Location: In the radio shack

    He has a habit of that, starting a thread and not posting in it again :(