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Topic: Suggestions for classical music?

  1. #1

    Suggestions for classical music?

    I just picked up VSL Percussions, Dan Dean Woods and Brass, and Garritan Lite. I listen to a lot of the percussion on the VSL, and I\'m not always picturing good use of how to impliment the sounds, mainly from a lack of composing classical music personally. Now I\'m watching movies and hearing all these sounds, and now want to listen to a LOT more good, complex examples that utilize the full orchestra in that \'Hollywood\' sort of vein.

    On that note - does anyone have suggestions for CD\'s to buy/listen to? Stuff that\'s hit the bargain bin would be welcome, but I have that feeling the full \'hollywood\' type of scores are more \'modern\', and I wouldn\'t be hearing this type of score in the $2.99 classical CD bin. I know a LOT of you have much more exposure to classical music than I have, and can name off artists.

    Based on the libraries I have, suggestions of music that use those elements in them? Thanks!


  2. #2

    Re: Suggestions for classical music?

    Originally posted by DevonB:
    On that note - does anyone have suggestions for CD\'s to buy/listen to? Stuff that\'s hit the bargain bin would be welcome, Devon
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">I like buying Naxos CDs of relatively obscure 20th and 21st century composers, the more obscure the better. I\'ve gotten a few duds this way, but usually I\'ve been pleased.

    For example, try Geirr Tveitt\'s \"Hundred Hardanger Tunes,\" suites 1 and 4. The orchestration is very film-scorish, and I never get tired of listening to it. There\'s another Naxos CD with suites 2 and 5, but it doesn\'t grab me as much.

    You know the old saying, \"The best is the enemy of the good.\" There are plenty of good, not best, \"classical\" composers whose work is languishing in the bins. Try Carter Pann, or Leonardo Balada, or Michael Torke, all on Naxos.


  3. #3

    Re: Suggestions for classical music?

    Hi DevonB,

    may I suggest \"Jón Leifs\" an Icelandic composer. His music is very powerful and he uses often percussion to the extreme for dramatic effect.

    Full scores should be available where you are but if you don\'t find any, I could propably help you with it. There are also CD recordings of \"Sögusinfóníunni\" (English: Saga symphony (I think)) with the Icelandic Sympony orchestra which was higly appraised by critics and got the MIDEM award in 1995.

    Hope this helps, any questions? Please ask.

  4. #4

    Re: Suggestions for classical music?

    If you are looking for exemples of the use of percussions in an ochestra I would suggest to listen to the compositions of Edgar Varèse. For exemple \"Deserts\". Xenakis as well uses a lot of percussions in very various ways. Now, I don\'t know so much the \"hollywood-style\", but both are great composers. [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]

  5. #5

    Re: Suggestions for classical music?

    Well, I\'ll give you a couple more recommendations not quite as avant garde as some of the others here have suggested (not that I disagree with their suggestions, of course!).

    A bona-fide treasure trove of orchestral genius is Ottorino Respighi\'s whole production, but especially his Roman Trilogy (very popular and very easy to find, with lots of cheap recordings available). Listening to a great recording of Feste Romane can be ear-shattering (literally!).. Respighi was arguably the greatest orchestrator of the 20th Century, and in his works you hear orchestral richness, depth and color that is, in my opinion, still unmatched to this day. Even his \"lighter\" works (for example, his orchestration of Rossini\'s \"The Fantastic Toy Shop\") display stunning orchestral skill. His sound, while not exactly subtle in many instances, will actually feel very contemporary to you, and much more relevant to straight-up film music than the works of less traditional composers. Finally, study scores for several of Respighi\'s works can be purchased for very little money on the Web (sadly, not all of them.. I have Feste Romane in full score but I had to buy it in Italy.. you can get Fountains of Rome in a Dover edition for a few bucks anywhere from SheetMusicOnline.com to Amazon.com).

    When you are done with Respighi, I would suggest getting into 20th Century Russian composers _besides_ Stravinsky.. [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img] In particular, Shostakovich (my personal obsession) and Prokofiev. Just these two can keep you busy for YEARS studying and learning from their amazing masterpieces (and, in some cases, even their film scores).

    As a starting point, I would suggest Shosta\'s Symphony No. 8, which is the greatest, most incredible achievement of his life, IMHO. There is one truly incredible recording of it, you can get it here:


    If you scroll down the Amazon product page a bit you can read my very detailed review of the piece and the recording, and why I think everyone should own this.. [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img] You can purchase the full score for many of Shostakovich\'s works (including all of his symphonies) from SheetMusicOnline.com (but it won\'t be cheap). I own the scores for nearly all of Shostakovich\'s gigantic production, but it took me years and a sizable investment to get to this point.

    Enough for now.. hopefully these are some things you\'d enjoy as much as I do. We\'ll get to Prokofiev another time, OK? [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img] All the best..


    Andrea G. Pessino (not female, just Italian)
    Blizzard Entertainment


  6. #6

    Re: Suggestions for classical music?

    ...Carl Orff\'s \"Carmina Burana\" and you\'ll see where the inspiration for about 50% of the film music out there comes from
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">And of the vota-demo [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img]

  7. #7

    Re: Suggestions for classical music?

    Originally posted by apessino:

    A bona-fide treasure trove of orchestral genius is Ottorino Respighi\'s whole production,
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">I adore Respighi, and for my money one of his most \"cinematic\" pieces is Belkis, Queen of Sheba. He wrote it in the late 1920s, and listening to it you can hear where a lot of the \"big\" biblical film scores of the 1950s came from.


  8. #8

    Re: Suggestions for classical music?


    But mostly Wagner.

    Granted, contemporary film scores tend to be simpler, more catchy, sometimes less overblown than Wagner\'s stuff. But the orchestral techniques...???...well, Wagner\'s pretty much it.

    Also, for the more...hmmm...what\'s the word...dreamy sort of stuff, check out Debussy\'s use of whole tone, modal, planing, quartal chords, and various other cool effects (that pretty much break all the rules of common practice music.)

    Of course what Wagner did was based on what those before him had developed. So you could really listen to any of the greats and get some pretty good ideas for contemporary work...Beethoven, Mozart, etc. You have to get past some of the stylistic things they do that are \'classical\' in nature. But there\'s still good things to learn.

  9. #9

    Re: Suggestions for classical music?

    As far as percussion goes, here are a couple of more composers that have used percussion fairly well...

    Sensamaya by Silvestre Revueltas
    Bartok Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion
    Mahler\'s 2nd Symphony
    Shostakovich Violin Concerto (especially the passacaglia)
    Janeck Sinfonietta (first movement for timpani)
    Samuel Barber Medea\'s Dance of Vengance
    Webern 5 pieces for orchestra
    Stockhausen Gruppen for orchestra
    Varese Arcana or Integrales
    Debussy La Mer
    Ravel Daphnis and Chloe
    Gershwin American in Paris
    Bernstein West Side Story and Chichester Psalms
    Stravinsky Les Noces, Soldier\'s Tale, Petrouchka, and Symphony of Psalms
    John Adams Short Ride in a Fast Machine

    There are many others, but this should get you started. I\'ve got a lot of parts from most of these pieces, so if you have any questions about notation (if you ever get a chance to have any of your work played by people rather than a computer,) feel free to contact me.



  10. #10

    Re: Suggestions for classical music?

    Awesome guys, thanks! Gives me a LOT to go off of now. I esp like the 100 classics from Amazon bit. The price is certainly right for that! [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img] Someone has it used for $14.99 even! Woohoo!

    The radio idea is excellent, but it seems here, when I\'ve listened to the program they\'re playing, it\'s \'sleeper\' music to me. Then again, it\'s probably more just the lack of \'polish\' on the recordings as they usually seem pretty \'lo-fi\' for so much of their selections. It could also be I\'m not listening to it long enough either. Just like the rock and pop stations and the like, they don\'t catch my ear enough either, so it could also be a matter of taste. Maybe I\'m catching the Britney Spears of classical hour. [img]graemlins/tounge_images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

    Disney? Oh heck yes! I already own Tarzan, Lion King, Aladdin, and used to have The Little Mermaid. I just forgot about the classical selections on them, so thank you for the reminder.

    I\'m going to have to print off this thread and go down to the score to see what I can dig up then. Why couldn\'t these guys have catchy, easy to remember names? [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]

    Again, thanks, and any more suggestions are more than welcome.


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