Author Topic: Good sources for classical music?  (Read 10595 times)

psychoadept

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Not too long before I started using MB, I decided that I needed to educate myself on mainstream music and began the project that I'm still working on involving the Billboard hits since ~1940.  I think there's an end in sight to it, though. 

I intend for my next big project to be an exploration of classical music.  That's not nearly as clearly-defined as mainstream popular music, though.  I'm hoping some of you can point me to a good source for classical music recommendations.  My ideal source would be a site organized by composer that lists all works with dates of composition, recommended recordings, etc.  But the recordings are the most important part, to help me narrow down what I'm looking for and get reliable details. (Right now I have a lot of "loose" tracks that I will probably never pin down the performers and recording dates on.)  Any ideas?
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Alumni

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Funny you should mention it because recently I've been doing the same thing. My recommendation would be to start with the "Originals" series, which is a budget line of remastered 'essential' recordings from labels like Decca and Deutsche Grammophon. If you're willing to spend a bit more, you might consider box sets like "The Decca Sound", or "Mercury Living Presence: The Collector's Edition".

Links:
http://www.prestoclassical.co.uk/s/Originals
http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=648280
http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=708841

Skoop

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MB plays online stations!  

Start listening!
Last Edit: November 03, 2015, 04:32:27 PM by Skoop

hiccup

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Are you triggered by some classical recordings you heard and liked?
That would be good, and if you know the name of the composer/work that would be a very good starting point.

Otherwise there are several roads where you could start.
- Find some compilation albums with 'the usual suspects' (Mozart, Beethoven, Vivaldi, Bach etc.)
- Search websites for 'Classical for beginners' (you'll find sites such as http://classicalmusic.about.com/od/classicalmusic101/a/intro072104.htm)
- The old way. (ask friends or relatives with a taste for classical music)
- If you have some favorite contemporary artists, see if you can find if they have classical composers who inspired them.
- Find recordings with some more extreme different styles such as Gregorian, Opera, New-Age, and also some different instrumental assemblies such as full orchestra, chamber orchestra, or (solo) works for piano, violin ,cello etc.
If then you encounter something that you like or interests you, focus only on that and delve deeper into that specific area, leaving the rest (for now).
That way it will be fun and enjoyable, rather than "I need to learn and appreciate classical music in all it's varieties".

If you have found some works that you enjoy, then search da internetz for: "best recording of ....", and you will surely get some clues and (often contradicting) opinions.

Be prepared, if this clings to you it might become an endless and very time-consuming travel.
For some classical works I have assembled 10 or sometimes even 20 different versions, and still don't know which ones to keep or to let go of.

I am curious how you will fare. Also because classical music also strains MusicBee's features a lot more than pop/contemporary music does.

psychoadept

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Are you triggered by some classical recordings you heard and liked?
That would be good, and if you know the name of the composer/work that would be a very good starting point.

I'm in a position of having listened to classical music all my life, and being able to recognize many pieces without being able to name them, or if I do know which piece it is, I only know the super famous passages.  There are a small handful that I know well enough to name instantly:

New world symphony
The planets
1812 overture
Pachelbel's canon
Carmina burana

I also have lots of classical pieces covered in non-traditional styles (some Canadian brass, almost everything isao tomita has done, various "classical metal", etc) and would like to match those pieces with the "original" works.

Thanks for the suggestions!  As soon as I have a minute, I'll start looking.
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Alumni

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psychoadept

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Cool, thanks!  I see I have a lot of work ahead of me...

I've got that version of 1812 (among several), but not the others.  What is it that makes them your favorite?
Last Edit: November 04, 2015, 04:20:50 AM by psychoadept
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Alumni

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What is it that makes them your favorite?

"The Planets", I've heard many different versions but I always come back to this one, there is a 'magical' quality with the performance that the others are lacking, at least for me - it's hard to describe.
"New World Symphony", this is a warm and powerful recording with just the right tempo.
"Carmina Burana", a unique recording in that it was approved by the composer himself, and it does sound very faithful.
Last Edit: November 04, 2015, 04:52:53 AM by Alumni


miyakisynth

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Hi folks, please check out www.classicalweekly.org Written by musicians, intended for musicians. It tries to explain patterns and  music theory from the east. Notated music has existed in India since the last 2000 years, and a small group of people continue to preserve traditional classical music traditions that've been passed on for the last 500+ years. I have exposure to both western and south asian music theory, so I try and explain the intricacies and share what are considered gems in our realm. If you like Jazz, then this is right up your alley.