Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Beloved Classic Music

I have stated before that my taste in music is quite eclectic as I enjoy most types of music, rejecting only rap, blues, crooning and twang-style country, none of which I enjoy much. One type of music that I fell in love with after I graduated from college was what is called "classical music". A lot of people don't listen to it because it is "boring", "snooty" or "upper class" but most of the people who say that they don't like it have never listened to it.

I remember a cartoon of Calvin and Hobbes where Calvin is listening to record called 1812 Overture and comments to Hobbes that the percussion is very unusual. Hobbes tells him that they use real cannons in that piece and Calvin grins as he says "Wow! Cannons! And I thought classical music was boring!"

Beethoven, Mozart, Bach etc are all fantastic but the only "upper echelon" classic composer that I regularly listen to is Tchaikovsky. I prefer, I guess you would call them "the lesser classics" of men that are considered great, but not up with the previous four.

Strauss is perhaps best known for his ubiquitous Blue Danube and that is a masterpiece that I enjoy, however as he is my favorite composer and my favorite piece by him is Tritsch Tratsch Polka. It is energetic and exiting as well as a pleasant melody. I can listen to it over and over again and I can't help by grin with pleasure as I listen to it.

Of course there was another composer named Strauss and he wrote Thus Spoke Zarathustra which is often mislabeled as Theme From 2001 A Space Odyssey. I love how this piece overwhelms the senses and emotions. It almost creates a sense of excitement and anticipation just by being listened to.

I have to admit that I got part of my love for classics from watching some Stanley Kubriks works. He may have had a screw loose but he knew good music.

And of course there are classical works that are vocal rather than just pure instrumental, though many songs known primarily as instrumental pieces have lyrics as well. However, some classics are vocal through and through. Handel's Hallelujah Chorus is such a piece and it is so overwhelming that George III couldn't help but rise as he listened to it and there are some who insist that one should stand as this song is performed. Perhaps they're right.


Blogger christian soldier said...

Thank you - shoprat- I needed Handel's Hallelujah Chorus today!
A reminder to whom we owe our true allegiance!

9:14 AM  
Blogger Ducky's here said...

"You know what the 2001 theme is? That's the sound of Mitchum waking up."

--- Peter Boyle on the set of "The Friends of Eddie Coyle"

1:57 PM  
Blogger Larry Durham said...

You're right about Kubrick: Beethoven figured quite prominently in Clockwork Orange. Part of Alex's treatment (inadvertantly?) included Ludwig Van.

Ode to Joy is fantastic.

5:03 PM  
Blogger Gayle said...

They were both wonderful, but I enjoyed the second one the most. Thanks! :)

9:45 AM  
Blogger Z said...

Sorry to say I got to the party late and all I see are three white squares.
I love classical music, too, shoprat...
let me know when your video's are back up!

12:32 AM  
Blogger Z said...

they finally suddenly popped up but won't stop loading..sorry

12:35 AM  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

I am a particular fan of Ludwig von, as well as Vivaldi. And Johann Strauss' The Blue Danube.

Rap & hip-hop? Can't stand the shit.


1:20 PM  
Blogger Always On Watch said...

Of course, I know all of these. All the classical musical training I had.

I, too, have eclectic taste in music. You never know what's going to be "on my turntable."

1:44 PM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Love 2001. The ultimate sci-fi movie.

6:38 PM  
Blogger Patrick Joubert Conlon said...

I have similar tastes, Shoprat. I also don't like rap, blues, and twang-style country. But there's a lot of socalled "classical music" that I can't stand either. If I can't sing or dance to it, I usually don't like.

11:35 AM  
Blogger Z said...

They opened no problem this you watch the New Year's Day concert on PBS at 8pm, with (ugh) Walter Cronkite, usually?
It's from Vienna and ALL Strauss..they've played this one many times and it's a great crowd pleaser..we look forward to this every year.

thanks, Shoprat...what's better than the Hallelujiah!?

Mr and Mrs Z are BIG Mozart and Beethoven Schubert. I love "The Trout" Quartet.....Handel.......

6:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My 8 y/o daughter has absconded with one of my classical CD's, and has "In the Hall of the Mountain King" playing on continous loop.

9:17 AM  

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