The Classical music thread


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Kolob, in the twinkling of an eye.
I have decided we need some Classical in here. Please feel free to repost old favourites now deleted from Twentieth Century, though in order to avoid a cookie cutter repeat, this discussion is open to all eras and related traditions, e.g. film scores, avant garde/experimental and so on.

The composer that finally prompted it all was Vaughan Williams. I have probably listened to Job more than any other during this particular binge, especially the intro going into Sarabande, but will also repost the only version of Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis you’ll ever need, both conducted by Andrew Davis with the BBC.

I managed to dig up a filmed version of Woolf Works a while back with music by Max Richter and enjoyed that a lot – not up there with some of his best for me, but still worth a sniff.

And I’m going to blurb a little now if you don’t mind. This was my composition tutor circa 1995-1998ish. *EDIT: Following his recent conviction for multiple sex offences, including minors, I have removed said blurb as of 06.07.20.* I found his Soundcloud and blogs some time ago, and really love this suite of pieces.

Last but not least, I developed a whole new appreciation for this piece after it opened for a minimalism concert back in April. In particular, the panning between monitors added great depth to the woozy, phasing effect Reich is renowned for. If you enjoy his work and see a 'performance' nearby in future, I highly recommend it.
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I'll look forward to it as and when.

Last night's insomnia was treated to a search for decent recordings of Third Mode Melody (aka Why Fum'th in Fight and When Rising From the Bed of Death for any ex-choirboys reading). This is the Tudor piece by Thomas Tallis that Vaughan Williams reimagined for Fantasia. Goes right through me, much like Coventry Carol and Arbeau's Pavane do - so haunting! Delighted to find this one from singing group, The Sixteen, who BBC documentary veterans may recognise from various films about early music.

I also found this episode of Soul Music, which I had never heard before and is just lovely. If Williams is not your bag, there's an absolute shit ton of episodes fully uploaded spanning everything from classical to pop and rock - I have Jerusalem on as we speak.
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Massive binge on Fratres yesterday, which has continued through into this morning. This kicked off with an autoplay on YouTube while I was busy, albeit into another Arvo Pärt piece. Hit the spot, however, so I made a day of it.

In recent years, I found myself returning to this recording more and more. With orchestration being flexible and the soloist rendition featuring additional embellishment, there are plenty of opportunities to personalise and I rate a satisfying number, the Kronos Quartet on Winter Was Hard being a heartbreaking example of its more reverent incarnation (will post underneath). I prefer Little's take on this one, however, including others that also feature violin. Occasionally I still go hunting for new-to-me versions, but it has imprinted so deeply now that none of them ever come close. The sounds she wrings out of that instrument with such delicacy and violence transport me to...I don't know...elsewhere. There are no words for it. Exquisite performance.

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Speaking of that most venerable group, now seems like a good time to post this amazing project, which comprises fifty pieces commissioned for an educational series exploring the range and potential of a quartet, including a handful of 'big' names, e.g. Philip Glass. So far, forty-six have been uploaded in full on Soundcloud with free scores available on their website and having listened through twice in full plus individual repeats (list of suggestions below), the selection is as diverse as their back catalogue, from folky noodlings and other world influences to the outright dissonant and experimental. As if I couldn't love them more! Even when I don't enjoy what they play, I admire their commitment to the material. It is sort of respect that opens one up to new possibilities in and of itself, a certain trust honed through years of listening, which is a great place to reach with any artist or performer. Bow down and worship.

Favourites so far in order of appearance:

2) The eerie Crystal by Laurie Anderson; 6) Ken Benshoof’s laid back yet playful Postscript; 10) the first movement of Sunjata’s Time by Fodé Lassana Diabaté, which marries what I’m going to tentatively describe as a cross-cultural folk sensibility (because I can totally imagine the latter half being adapted for a ceilidh) with African polyrhythms; 15) Mario Galeano Toro’s rousing Tolo Midi, possibly because it was strongly reminiscent of a much beloved suite by Terry Riley; 17) the surprisingly catchy At the Purchaser’s Option by Rhiannon Giddens; 39) the borderline-unlistenable, horror-inducing Sivunittinni by Tanya Tagaq, because it sounds like a bunch of amputated fingerboards wielding garrottes and strikes me a genuine technical achievement of performance; 40) Stephan Thelen’s relentlessly hypnotic sonic maze, Circular Lines.
Well shit, it's all kicking off in here, eh!

This album has never been far from my airwaves since watching the documentary it was composed for some months back. Started craving it again last week, so figured I might as well post here - one of the loveliest scores I've heard in a long time.

Also this lady, who, much like Baranowski, somehow manages to straddle catharsis with pure balm - just the ticket.
"Oh my gosh" here is an example of not-Classical? Is this my thread's version of Nicki Minaj, perchance?

Not at all, classical re-workings are in vogue atm. Hacienda classical, Ibiza classical, Garage classical etc. I thought it was pertinent and in context.

My experience of classical has primarily been through film soundtracks/scores, hence Wagner.

I look forward to listening to some of your well informed links when I have the time.

As for Minaj, I saw an inch and took a mile.

Hope you don’t mind...

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Not at all, classical re-workings are in vogue atm. Hacienda classical, Ibiza classical, Garage classical etc. I thought it was pertinent and in context.
OK, maybe I jumped the gun a bit in assuming you were taking the mickey - may I ask what it is a reworking of?

See, if you'd posted something from, say, Pieces in a Modern Style, I get that, you know? Does exactly what it says on the tin - Ravel, Barber, Gorecki etc. Apologies if I'm teaching granny to suck eggs, but in using the word Classical, I mean with a capital C, same way I would differentiate between or romantic (as in, lovers) and Romantic (musical epoch). When you say something like "Garage classical", are you referring to Orbit-style productions that run with Classical themes? If so, then probably it is pertinent, hence asking a bit more about that track in particular. It might be classical x, y, z, but is it also Classical?

My experience of classical has primarily been through film soundtracks/scores, hence Wagner.
I hear ya - one of my gateways as a young lass, definitely. I even went through a phase of wanting to write science fiction films scores when I grew up, bless. Sadly, it's a much underrated medium among the hoipolloi, so still quite rare to find film composers on the same billing as the more traditional types.

I look forward to listening to some of your well informed links when I have the time.
Happy hunting!

As for Minaj, I saw an inch and took a mile.
Just the one?

Hope you don’t mind...

Not at all! Amazing film, genius soundtrack. We probably better have a bit of Zarathustra while we're at it. Seriously, though, does anyone hear this piece now and not think of 2001?

As for reworks, I was gonna post the synth version of Beethoven's Ode to Joy by Wendy Carlos from A Clockwork Orange, but can't find the original on YouTube for love nor money, only reimaginings of the reimagining. Boo!