Piano World Home Page
Posted By: Samuel1993 Composer's you just can't get in to... - 02/28/12 09:54 AM
Hello everyone,

I thought this would make an interesting discussion. If you had to pick a composer you just can't get in to, who would it be? Mine would me Erik Satie. I just don't enjoy his music at all. And I've always wondered why those Gymnopedie's and Gnossienne are so popular, I find them really bland.

Who's yours?
Schubert is for me. I only like very few of his work.
Posted By: bennevis Re: Composer's you just can't get in to... - 02/28/12 02:02 PM
Iannis Xenakis.
I had the misfortune to hear one of his pieces live once (while waiting for the Rachmaninoff concerto that was to follow), and had my ears nearly blown off by the noise. Harmony, melody, rhythm.....what??

BTW, I love listening to new/contemporary music: everything from Saariaho to Vine to (even ) Boulez and Stockhausen (in small doses). But there are limits.....
I can't stand Franz Liszt. I also have a hard time with Schumann(though I admit he is a good composer).
Iannis Xenakis, it's so bad that anyone could make it better in Garage Band Trial.
Ive never been to found of Franz Schubert neither, struggling with liking Johannes Brahms a little.
Posted By: Stanza Re: Composer's you just can't get in to... - 02/28/12 03:12 PM
Originally Posted by Samuel1993
Hello everyone,

I thought this would make an interesting discussion. If you had to pick a composer you just can't get in to, who would it be? Mine would me Erik Satie. I just don't enjoy his music at all. And I've always wondered why those Gymnopedie's and Gnossienne are so popular, I find them really bland.

Who's yours?


I have always felt the same way about those Satie pieces.

I just haven't been able to get into Brahms, (some pieces are ok, like his lullaby and Hungarian Dance #5). I couldn't put my finger on why until I read a quote (I think from Tchaikowsky) to the effect that Brahms "didn't know how to finish a melody". That's it! To me, a lot of his writing is like trying to have a converstation with someone who keeps changing the subject.
Posted By: Gould Re: Composer's you just can't get in to... - 02/28/12 03:14 PM
Schumann frown
I think you have a point there on Brahms. Though I am completely in love with his intermezzos... Schumann has the same type of problem I think and your quote "a lot of his writing is like trying to have a converstation with someone who keeps changing the subject", suits him aswell.
Originally Posted by Stanza
Originally Posted by Samuel1993
Hello everyone,

I thought this would make an interesting discussion. If you had to pick a composer you just can't get in to, who would it be? Mine would me Erik Satie. I just don't enjoy his music at all. And I've always wondered why those Gymnopedie's and Gnossienne are so popular, I find them really bland.

Who's yours?


I have always felt the same way about those Satie pieces.

I just haven't been able to get into Brahms, (some pieces are ok, like his lullaby and Hungarian Dance #5). I couldn't put my finger on why until I read a quote (I think from Tchaikowsky) to the effect that Brahms "didn't know how to finish a melody". That's it! To me, a lot of his writing is like trying to have a converstation with someone who keeps changing the subject.
Posted By: Tararex Re: Composer's you just can't get in to... - 02/28/12 03:45 PM
Schumann: I agree for same reasons already stated above.
Mozart: Who unlike Liszt wasn't blessed with a long life to repair his errors.
Hmm, for me it's most composers. I can't get into most composers' music because I find them to either be too understimulating, intellectual, and anthropocentric (baroque and classical era), or too crazy and modern (and I suppose, in many cases, asphyxiatingly intellectual) (like Stockhausen and all those dudes).

For me, the best music is the kind that recognizes humans are only a small part of life, so why make them the only thing music is about? Why does music have to only be about emotion or abstract things? Why can't it be a plant, or a rock, a fish, or a battle? Why not step outside yourself for a bit.....that's what ecstasy is, after all.
Originally Posted by Stanza
I just haven't been able to get into Brahms, (some pieces are ok, like his lullaby and Hungarian Dance #5). I couldn't put my finger on why until I read a quote (I think from Tchaikowsky) to the effect that Brahms "didn't know how to finish a melody". That's it! To me, a lot of his writing is like trying to have a converstation with someone who keeps changing the subject.


Ironically, this is the reason why my piano teacher loathes Tchaikovsky and loves Brahms!
Yeah, never got into Brahms.
Robert Schumann is one of my favorite composers. Don't understand why people don't find his music to impressive.
Posted By: Nikolas Re: Composer's you just can't get in to... - 02/28/12 04:02 PM
I find Liszt a little boring, but that is not to say that I hate his guts. What's the point of this thread again?
Originally Posted by Stanza
I just haven't been able to get into Brahms, (some pieces are ok, like his lullaby and Hungarian Dance #5). I couldn't put my finger on why until I read a quote (I think from Tchaikowsky) to the effect that Brahms "didn't know how to finish a melody". That's it! To me, a lot of his writing is like trying to have a converstation with someone who keeps changing the subject.


Try the F minor sonata. It's not that Brahms can't finish a tune, it's that if he does, he goes on for 40 minutes to an hour. He condensed his style late in life and it is an amazing effect, but it can be frustrating at times to continually get one half of a great melody.
Posted By: BB Player Re: Composer's you just can't get in to... - 02/28/12 04:17 PM
I know I'm destined for the fires of heck when I die (and maybe sooner, here) but I'll say it anyway: Bach. I respect the heck out of him, I admire his music, I play a little of it but I don't love it. I own a number of recordings of his music and do listen to it but it's more a clinical study than an act of love.
Posted By: beet31425 Re: Composer's you just can't get in to... - 02/28/12 04:40 PM
Originally Posted by BB Player
I know I'm destined for the fires of heck when I die (and maybe sooner, here) but I'll say it anyway: Bach. I respect the heck out of him, I admire his music, I play a little of it but I don't love it. I own a number of recordings of his music and do listen to it but it's more a clinical study than an act of love.


There's absolutely nothing wrong with that opinion. It just means that you have a fundamental misalignment between your analytical mind, your heart, and your soul. That's all. smile smile

-J
John Cage
Ive don't like the music ive heard of John Cage(Or not heard, according to my opinion, worlds most easy piece of music. 4'33 or Something).
I just played some Johann Sebastian Bach, my favorite composer i would dare to say.
Originally Posted by Psychic Ravel
Why does music have to only be about emotion or abstract things? Why can't it be a plant, or a rock, a fish, or a battle?
Listen to the Rach 3.
Posted By: Damon Re: Composer's you just can't get in to... - 02/28/12 05:28 PM
Originally Posted by BB Player
I know I'm destined for the fires of heck when I die (and maybe sooner, here) but I'll say it anyway: Bach. I respect the heck out of him, I admire his music, I play a little of it but I don't love it. I own a number of recordings of his music and do listen to it but it's more a clinical study than an act of love.


+1000000000000000
Originally Posted by BB Player
I know I'm destined for the fires of heck when I die (and maybe sooner, here) but I'll say it anyway: Bach. I respect the heck out of him, I admire his music, I play a little of it but I don't love it. I own a number of recordings of his music and do listen to it but it's more a clinical study than an act of love.


Wow, thank you. I couldn't have said it better myself. I'm always afraid to admit that I can't listen to his music other than a study. Like you said I respect him, and admire his skill, but I hardly listen to it for enjoyment.

Add Schubert and Schumann to the list as well.
Posted By: BruceD Re: Composer's you just can't get in to... - 02/28/12 06:18 PM
Originally Posted by Psychic Ravel
[...]Why does music have to only be about emotion or abstract things?


Almost all programmatic music is not "about abstract things" although it may have emotional content.

Originally Posted by Psychic Ravel
Why can't it be

a plant?


MacDowell : "To a Wild Rose," "To a Waterlily"

Originally Posted by Psychic Ravel
or a rock?
Rachmaninoff : "The Rock"

Originally Posted by Psychic Ravel
a fish?
Debussy : "Poissons d'or"

Originally Posted by Psychic Ravel
or a battle?
Beethoven : "Wellington's Victory."

Regards,
Posted By: Coolkid70 Re: Composer's you just can't get in to... - 02/28/12 06:37 PM
Originally Posted by Psychic Ravel

Why does music have to only be about emotion or abstract things? Why can't it be [...] a battle?


You may also see "Poems of 1917" by Leo Ornstein. It consists of ten parts, all depicting aspects of trench warfare in WWI.
Posted By: Richter Re: Composer's you just can't get in to... - 02/28/12 06:54 PM
Aw man! I'm curious to know why people don't like Schumann... He's my absolute favourite composer and I've always found all of his compositions so easy to listen to.
Posted By: babama Re: Composer's you just can't get in to... - 02/28/12 07:46 PM
Bach and Brahms.
Posted By: Carey Re: Composer's you just can't get in to... - 02/28/12 08:03 PM
Originally Posted by Richter
Aw man! I'm curious to know why people don't like Schumann... He's my absolute favourite composer and I've always found all of his compositions so easy to listen to.


What difference does it really make whether a bunch of complete strangers say they "like" composer X, Y or Z ????? The works of the majority of the composers identified in this tread have withstood the test of time - and will continue to be performed and appreciated long after we are gone and forgotten.

Heading back downstairs now to learn some beautiful works by Chopin, Brahms, Bach and Schubert. May even play a little (gasp) Schumann. So much great music - so little time.
Posted By: Otis S Re: Composer's you just can't get in to... - 02/28/12 08:21 PM
Originally Posted by BB Player
I know I'm destined for the fires of heck when I die (and maybe sooner, here) but I'll say it anyway: Bach. I respect the heck out of him, I admire his music, I play a little of it but I don't love it. I own a number of recordings of his music and do listen to it but it's more a clinical study than an act of love.


How do you feel about the music of other baroque composers such as Handel? Are there other baroque composers who appeal to you considerably more than Bach?

While I have a lot of respect for Bach as a composer, baroque music simply does not appeal to me as much as later music from the classical and romantic period which is why I prefer music by other composers such as Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Chopin, Brahms, Verdi, etc over that of Bach. Bach, however, is definitely my favorite baroque composer. I also have a significant preference for Bach's music over that of any contemporary classical music which I have heard. Composers I just can't get into would include just about all of the composers after the death of Rachmaninoff who are classified as Western classical composers.
Posted By: Tararex Re: Composer's you just can't get in to... - 02/28/12 08:26 PM
Originally Posted by Richter
Aw man! I'm curious to know why people don't like Schumann... He's my absolute favourite composer and I've always found all of his compositions so easy to listen to.


Schumann's out due to my own musical weaknesses.

In my case it's rhythm that both pulls and anchors a piece, then melody and finally any harmonic layers. Schumann is harmonically complex but often lacks the strong rhythmic patterns used by composers such as Bach, Schubert and Beethoven. If I can't catch the "groove" it's difficult to appreciate the other musical components.

I'm going to go out on a limb and surmise that you, as a Schumann fan, are among the harmonically gifted.

I've noticed through threads like this that many naturally side with either rhythmic or harmonic compositional preferences. It usually follows that their favorite genres and composers align neatly within the same logical groups. (Note: I'm not implying in any way that these are the only two preferential musical distinctions.) smile
Originally Posted by BB Player
I know I'm destined for the fires of heck when I die (and maybe sooner, here) but I'll say it anyway: Bach. I respect the heck out of him, I admire his music, I play a little of it but I don't love it. I own a number of recordings of his music and do listen to it but it's more a clinical study than an act of love.


Agreed.
Posted By: Carey Re: Composer's you just can't get in to... - 02/28/12 10:40 PM
Originally Posted by Tararex

Schumann is harmonically complex but often lacks the strong rhythmic patterns used by composers such as Bach, Schubert and Beethoven.


Simply not true.
Originally Posted by carey
Originally Posted by Tararex

Schumann is harmonically complex but often lacks the strong rhythmic patterns used by composers such as Bach, Schubert and Beethoven.


Simply not true.


Also agreed, with Carey.
Posted By: fledgehog Re: Composer's you just can't get in to... - 02/28/12 10:43 PM
Originally Posted by NikkiPiano
Originally Posted by Stanza
I just haven't been able to get into Brahms, (some pieces are ok, like his lullaby and Hungarian Dance #5). I couldn't put my finger on why until I read a quote (I think from Tchaikowsky) to the effect that Brahms "didn't know how to finish a melody". That's it! To me, a lot of his writing is like trying to have a converstation with someone who keeps changing the subject.


Ironically, this is the reason why my piano teacher loathes Tchaikovsky and loves Brahms!


Tchaikovsky can write a gorgeous melodic line, start to finish...his problem is more a matter of bringing all the melodies together and creating a large-scale piece that has some sort of logical form. His melodies don't ramble or meander, but his pieces do. There are exceptions, however -- for instance I think his 6th symphony is brilliant in every way, including construction.
Posted By: BB Player Re: Composer's you just can't get in to... - 02/28/12 11:24 PM
Originally Posted by Otis S
Originally Posted by BB Player
I know I'm destined for the fires of heck when I die (and maybe sooner, here) but I'll say it anyway: Bach. I respect the heck out of him, I admire his music, I play a little of it but I don't love it. I own a number of recordings of his music and do listen to it but it's more a clinical study than an act of love.


How do you feel about the music of other baroque composers such as Handel? Are there other baroque composers who appeal to you considerably more than Bach?


(Very) loosely speaking, I more or less switch on at Mozart. There are probably too many exceptions to list (some Handel, some Haydn, ...) but Mozart onward is where the bulk of my music collection is centered.
Posted By: Dachshund Re: Composer's you just can't get in to... - 02/28/12 11:35 PM
Alkan. Everyone tells me how underrated he is, and how amazing his music is, but I've tried listening to it lately and I haven't found it to be particularly interesting.
Scarlatti.

-Daniel
Posted By: DameMyra Re: Composer's you just can't get in to... - 02/28/12 11:54 PM
With the exception of a few pieces, Debussy does very little for me.
Posted By: tomasino Re: Composer's you just can't get in to... - 02/29/12 01:20 AM
Scriabin. I'm working on him though. My teacher says he's my kind of composer, but it may be a while.

Someone mentioned Cage. I don't take him seriously.

Tomasino
Originally Posted by carey
Originally Posted by Tararex

Schumann is harmonically complex but often lacks the strong rhythmic patterns used by composers such as Bach, Schubert and Beethoven.


Simply not true.


To me Schumann has too much predictable rhythmic patterns that I often get bored. But in general, I like his work, he has style different from others.
Am I the only one who can't seem to find the appeal of Mozart? Nothing against him, and I understand and appreciate his work from a compositional and technical point, however there are very few pieces that I can bare to listen from him.
Originally Posted by tomasino
Scriabin. I'm working on him though. My teacher says he's my kind of composer, but it may be a while.

You really have something to look forward to. I'd start with the etudes opus 8 and 42, then the first five piano sonatas. Incredible stuff and most accessible!

I think it was the 3rd sonata which really kicked things off for me, Ashkenazy's recording I believe. Then when I discovered Horowitz's psychotic, mind-blowingly psychedelic 10th sonata, I knew I had finally come to Scriabin.

Scriabin is not a composer I listen a great deal to -a little at a time is best- but what an outstanding musical mind. Don't let his personal megalomania put you off.
Originally Posted by tomasino

Someone mentioned Cage. I don't take him seriously.


You don't take him seriously? His work on mushrooms is quite interesting you know.
Originally Posted by Pangur Bán

You don't take [Cage] seriously? His work on mushrooms is quite interesting you know.

He studied mushrooms? Hopefully the 'festive' variety. wink
Originally Posted by argerichfan
He studied mushrooms? Hopefully the 'festive' variety. wink


All sorts I think, including, I would imagine, the grin sort. He was a respected amateur mycologist. And yes he prepared composed some stuff as well.
Posted By: Damon Re: Composer's you just can't get in to... - 02/29/12 02:26 AM
Originally Posted by ChopinLives81
Am I the only one who can't seem to find the appeal of Mozart? Nothing against him, and I understand and appreciate his work from a compositional and technical point, however there are very few pieces that I can bare to listen from him.


If we are talking about his piano works, yes, but his orchestral works are wonderful. This is why, for me, Beethoven is king. Strong on piano, strong on orchestra. Even my beloved Liszt loses me a bit on the orchestral works.

I'm not a big Schumann fan either.
Schumann is great, but I'm not the biggest on him.

Same with Mendelssohn, if we're talking just for piano.
Originally Posted by Orange Soda King
Schumann is great, but I'm not the biggest on him.

I confess to being a bit mystified, but to each his own. Yet I could never live without the Fantasy. OTH, the finale of his first symphony I find utterly tedious.
Quote
Same with Mendelssohn, if we're talking just for piano.

A handful of M's piano works are fully worthy of his genius, but some of them I could give a miss. But the symphonies, the two great oratorios, the chamber works -those I have heard- and even some of the part songs? Love 'em.
Posted By: Tararex Re: Composer's you just can't get in to... - 02/29/12 03:11 AM
Originally Posted by RonaldSteinway
Originally Posted by carey
Originally Posted by Tararex

Schumann is harmonically complex but often lacks the strong rhythmic patterns used by composers such as Bach, Schubert and Beethoven.


Simply not true.


To me Schumann has too much predictable rhythmic patterns that I often get bored. But in general, I like his work, he has style different from others.


That may be a better description. With Schumann it's never long before an overwhelming sense of "circling in the woods" asserts itself.
I think it's not so much a question of rhythmic patterns as the architectonics of a given piece of Schumann's solo piano music. Whilst a lot of keyboard music 1700-1900 was written in a small number of standard musical forms (e.g. sonata form, rondo, various dances, &c &c), Schumann tended to write a lot of programme music. Unlike a lot of programme music where the 'programme' is fairly explicit, the 'programme' in Schumann's music not always obvious, and often there's a narrative of sorts going on; and you have to decide, from the notes before you, what sort of story you want to tell, or what story you want to hear. In short, you need to work that much harder, either as a listener or as a performer.

Mendelssohn's a capella works are fantastic, too!!
Posted By: Tararex Re: Composer's you just can't get in to... - 02/29/12 03:34 AM
Originally Posted by ChopinLives81
Am I the only one who can't seem to find the appeal of Mozart? Nothing against him, and I understand and appreciate his work from a compositional and technical point, however there are very few pieces that I can bare to listen from him.


I totally agree with what you've said. So no you're not the only one. I find Mozart a fascinating personality but his piano compositions, not much so other than as study items. On the other hand I adore his whimsical operas - but more for libretto and treatment than the music.
Posted By: Tararex Re: Composer's you just can't get in to... - 02/29/12 03:52 AM
Originally Posted by Pangur Bán
I think it's not so much a question of rhythmic patterns as the architectonics of a given piece of Schumann's solo piano music. Whilst a lot of keyboard music 1700-1900 was written in a small number of standard musical forms (e.g. sonata form, rondo, various dances, &c &c), Schumann tended to write a lot of programme music. Unlike a lot of programme music where the 'programme' is fairly explicit, the 'programme' in Schumann's music not always obvious, and often there's a narrative of sorts going on; and you have to decide, from the notes before you, what sort of story you want to tell, or what story you want to hear. In short, you need to work that much harder, either as a listener or as a performer.


Excellent! This is quite true as I never quite comprehend what Schumann is trying to say while Liszt, another 'programme' composer always speaks quite clearly to me.

My inner voice petulantly stamps its foot and tells Schumann to be quiet if he can't find anything logical* to talk about.

Logical* = long list of musical programmes/dances I care for.
Originally Posted by Tararex
Originally Posted by ChopinLives81
Am I the only one who can't seem to find the appeal of Mozart? Nothing against him, and I understand and appreciate his work from a compositional and technical point, however there are very few pieces that I can bare to listen from him.


I totally agree with what you've said. So no you're not the only one. I find Mozart a fascinating personality but his piano compositions, not much so other than as study items. On the other hand I adore his whimsical operas - but more for libretto and treatment than the music.


The funny thing is (no pun intended) that I feel most of his works revolve too much in the major scales and those trill flourishes that sprout from most of his sonatas for example really get on my nerves...lol
Shostakovich and Bartok...
Posted By: Otis S Re: Composer's you just can't get in to... - 02/29/12 04:53 AM
Originally Posted by BB Player
Originally Posted by Otis S
Originally Posted by BB Player
I know I'm destined for the fires of heck when I die (and maybe sooner, here) but I'll say it anyway: Bach. I respect the heck out of him, I admire his music, I play a little of it but I don't love it. I own a number of recordings of his music and do listen to it but it's more a clinical study than an act of love.


How do you feel about the music of other baroque composers such as Handel? Are there other baroque composers who appeal to you considerably more than Bach?


(Very) loosely speaking, I more or less switch on at Mozart. There are probably too many exceptions to list (some Handel, some Haydn, ...) but Mozart onward is where the bulk of my music collection is centered.


I have similar musical tastes as you.

For the most part, I consider Haydn to be a contemporary of Mozart (although Haydn had a considerably longer life span)
Interesting to see Schumann get so much hate. I love the guy. Fantasie, Symphonic Etudes, Kreisleriana, 2nd Piano Sonata...
Originally Posted by pianojosh23
Interesting to see Schumann get so much hate. I love the guy. Fantasie, Symphonic Etudes, Kreisleriana, 2nd Piano Sonata...

I've really taken a fancy to the Humoreske these last several weeks.

No one -except the general public- seems to like the piano concerto, but the late 'Introduction & Allegro' Op 134 (also for piano and orchestra) is oddly neglected, I don't understand that.

A very worthy piece, superbly written, it builds to a luscious and glowing climax.
Posted By: Carey Re: Composer's you just can't get in to... - 02/29/12 05:26 AM
Originally Posted by argerichfan

No one -except the general public- seems to like the piano concerto......


Well then, thank God for the general public !!!!! grin
Posted By: Nikolas Re: Composer's you just can't get in to... - 02/29/12 05:27 AM
Originally Posted by Opus_Maximus
Shostakovich and Bartok...
REALLY!?!?!?

I mean I understand Bartok, but Shostakovich is the idol of tons of film composers and it shows in their works (just look at the works of John Williams for example who is VERY influenced by both Shostakovich and Stravinsky).
Posted By: Carey Re: Composer's you just can't get in to... - 02/29/12 05:40 AM
Originally Posted by Tararex

My inner voice petulantly stamps its foot and tells Schumann to be quiet if he can't find anything logical* to talk about.

Logical* = long list of musical programmes/dances I care for.


So it's all about YOU. grin

Originally Posted by Nikolas
Originally Posted by Opus_Maximus
Shostakovich and Bartok...
REALLY!?!?!?

Shostakovich is the idol of tons of film composers and it shows in their works (just look at the works of John Williams for example who is VERY influenced by both Shostakovich and Stravinsky).


...and that has what to do with me liking them or not?

Williams does write beautiful music, granted..but I always thought he was more Wagner than Shosty..
Posted By: Nikolas Re: Composer's you just can't get in to... - 02/29/12 08:20 AM
Originally Posted by Opus_Maximus
Originally Posted by Nikolas
Originally Posted by Opus_Maximus
Shostakovich and Bartok...
REALLY!?!?!?

Shostakovich is the idol of tons of film composers and it shows in their works (just look at the works of John Williams for example who is VERY influenced by both Shostakovich and Stravinsky).


...and that has what to do with me liking them or not?

Williams does write beautiful music, granted..but I always thought he was more Wagner than Shosty..
Nothing... I'm not telling you off or anything. I was just surprised that's all, because Shosty sounds rather commercial, that's all! smile

Sorry if my post seemed somehow 'wrong' or anything...
Posted By: wr Re: Composer's you just can't get in to... - 02/29/12 11:14 AM
There can be a disconnect between what I get into as a listener and as a player. I can enjoy listening to Mozart and Haydn, but their music doesn't attract me as something to play.

C. P. E. Bach's music has always been weird for me - it's fascinating and brilliant stuff, but is so hyper-sensitive and twitchy that I just can't get very far into it without feeling like I am approaching some kind of nervous breakdown, and for me, it's just not worth it.

Originally Posted by Tararex
With Schumann it's never long before an overwhelming sense of "circling in the woods" asserts itself.

Well, that would be a good thing if you are playing Waldszenen.
Posted By: Tararex Re: Composer's you just can't get in to... - 02/29/12 03:36 PM
Originally Posted by carey
Originally Posted by Tararex

My inner voice petulantly stamps its foot and tells Schumann to be quiet if he can't find anything logical* to talk about.

Logical* = long list of musical programmes/dances I care for.


So it's all about YOU. grin


Yes it is. I fear I must agree with that "Stores" fellow who previously stated in the "Do you like rap" thread (paraphrase) that there isn't enough time in life to waste listening to what you don't like. Regardless, the composer in question has many fans and is not in a position to care much about my favor of others. grin
Posted By: Tararex Re: Composer's you just can't get in to... - 02/29/12 03:39 PM
Originally Posted by the nosy ape
Originally Posted by Tararex
With Schumann it's never long before an overwhelming sense of "circling in the woods" asserts itself.

Well, that would be a good thing if you are playing Waldszenen.


Good one. Lol. laugh (Can't argue with that!)
This is really interesting to read, how much people's opinions contrast. I was surprised to see quite a lot of dislike for Schumann, his D minor symphony and Piano concerto are outstanding pieces of music, but I guess it's a matter of taste.

I didn't want to say it in my first post, as I thought I might be hated for saying it, but everyone else has mentioned a prolific composer. I've never particularly liked Mendelssohn. Sorry to any Mendelssohn fans, but when I listen or play his music, there's nothing there to me. He also doesn't stand out, if you listen to composers like Liszt or Chopin, you know it's them because of their unique sound, but Mendelssohn is too "samey" for me. That defiantly goes for his piano music! I'm a bit fonder of his other works, like the Violin Concerto in E minor.
Posted By: DadAgain Re: Composer's you just can't get in to... - 03/01/12 12:49 AM
Gotta be Bach...

The guy may well have been smart, ahead of his time and produced some very tricky and *interesting* music - but I have NEVER got any emotional response to any Bach (..and I'll admit like others here I struggle with all Baroque stuff).

Not too long ago I brought this up recently in a thread and suggested that in terms of *emotional* communication I can get more from modern 'angry' rock music than I can from any Bach. (At which point I was declared to be an ignorant and foolish devil). I accept that Bach is intellectually sophisticated, but emotionaly he's doesnt get a single 'blip' on any radar I've got going....

Oddly enough some jazz musicians have managed to succesfully take bits of Bach and (in my opinion) manage to inject *some* feeling into it - but even then it still feels to me like someone desperately looking for and forcing emotion into a text that is completely devoid of it in the first place.
Originally Posted by Samuel1993

I didn't want to say it in my first post, as I thought I might be hated for saying it, but everyone else has mentioned a prolific composer. I've never particularly liked Mendelssohn. Sorry to any Mendelssohn fans, but when I listen or play his music, there's nothing there to me. He also doesn't stand out, if you listen to composers like Liszt or Chopin, you know it's them because of their unique sound, but Mendelssohn is too "samey" for me. That defiantly goes for his piano music! I'm a bit fonder of his other works, like the Violin Concerto in E minor.


I agree with you when it comes to piano works. But a quick listen to "Richte mich Gott" and "Warum Toben die Heiden", as well as many of his other a capella works, (and other genres) will probably touch you more.



I think the Variations Serieuses is a great piano piece, though!
Posted By: Vinn Re: Composer's you just can't get in to... - 03/01/12 02:17 AM
Originally Posted by DadAgain
Gotta be Bach...

The guy may well have been smart, ahead of his time and produced some very tricky and *interesting* music - but I have NEVER got any emotional response to any Bach (..and I'll admit like others here I struggle with all Baroque stuff).

Not too long ago I brought this up recently in a thread and suggested that in terms of *emotional* communication I can get more from modern 'angry' rock music than I can from any Bach. (At which point I was declared to be an ignorant and foolish devil). I accept that Bach is intellectually sophisticated, but emotionaly he's doesnt get a single 'blip' on any radar I've got going....

Oddly enough some jazz musicians have managed to succesfully take bits of Bach and (in my opinion) manage to inject *some* feeling into it - but even then it still feels to me like someone desperately looking for and forcing emotion into a text that is completely devoid of it in the first place.


I agree, I just can't get any enjoyment out of Bach what so ever except maybe one invention. Everyone talks about him and how he's the greatest composer ever but I just don't see it.

I feel the same as you or rather lack of feel as I think his music has no emotion at all. I find his entire output to completely lifeless, bland and devoid of any emotion. Every single piece sound exactly the same as the one before it and the one that comes after.

The only feeling I get from Bach is the feeling of wanting to listen to something else.

I don't care how complex, intricate or masterfully crafted and structured the music is, it's still criminally boring.
Posted By: currawong Re: Composer's you just can't get in to... - 03/01/12 03:11 AM
Originally Posted by Vinn
I feel the same as you or rather lack of feel as I think his music has no emotion at all. I find his entire output to completely lifeless, bland and devoid of any emotion. Every single piece sound exactly the same as the one before it and the one that comes after.
Have you ever listened to the St Matthew Passion? Or the slow movement of the two-violin concerto?
Posted By: currawong Re: Composer's you just can't get in to... - 03/01/12 03:25 AM
Originally Posted by Samuel1993
I'm a bit fonder of his other works, like the Violin Concerto in E minor.
Try the chamber music too - the piano trios and the octet perhaps.
Posted By: Carey Re: Composer's you just can't get in to... - 03/01/12 03:30 AM
Originally Posted by Vinn
Originally Posted by DadAgain
Gotta be Bach...

The guy may well have been smart, ahead of his time and produced some very tricky and *interesting* music - but I have NEVER got any emotional response to any Bach (..and I'll admit like others here I struggle with all Baroque stuff).

Not too long ago I brought this up recently in a thread and suggested that in terms of *emotional* communication I can get more from modern 'angry' rock music than I can from any Bach. (At which point I was declared to be an ignorant and foolish devil). I accept that Bach is intellectually sophisticated, but emotionaly he's doesnt get a single 'blip' on any radar I've got going....

Oddly enough some jazz musicians have managed to succesfully take bits of Bach and (in my opinion) manage to inject *some* feeling into it - but even then it still feels to me like someone desperately looking for and forcing emotion into a text that is completely devoid of it in the first place.


I agree, I just can't get any enjoyment out of Bach what so ever except maybe one invention. Everyone talks about him and how he's the greatest composer ever but I just don't see it.

I feel the same as you or rather lack of feel as I think his music has no emotion at all. I find his entire output to completely lifeless, bland and devoid of any emotion. Every single piece sound exactly the same as the one before it and the one that comes after.

The only feeling I get from Bach is the feeling of wanting to listen to something else.

I don't care how complex, intricate or masterfully crafted and structured the music is, it's still criminally boring.


Let's let the music speak for itself

Chaconne for solo violin
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5bVRTtcWmXI

Brandenburg Concerto No. 5
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vMSwVf_69Hc

Badinerie
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kl6R4Ui9blc&feature=related

Singet dem Herrn ein neues lied (Motet)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wdTKQn6dpKE

Fantasia in G minor (Organ)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OIiU2-JyqsE&feature=related

Dona Nobis Pacem - from b minor mass
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lnrHhYSGzd4

Devoid of any emotion? Criminally BORING ???

Not in my book. I can't imagine a musical life without Bach.


Posted By: DadAgain Re: Composer's you just can't get in to... - 03/01/12 04:36 AM
Originally Posted by currawong
..Or the slow movement of the two-violin concerto?


OT - but I have played an amusing 'Dark Bubble' arrangement for 1 violin and 1 electric guitar [Van Halen-ish style] (complete with a range of intriguing electronics) that was a lot of fun to do lovely juxtaposition of 1730s v 1980s.

Yeah theres a nice enough main theme - but seriously 'continuo' orchestra accompaniments? <yawn>... How did harpsichord players and cellists not die of boredom in the early 18th century?

Not a patch emotionaly on a slow movement of a 'proper' violin concerto! Try the empty desolation of Sibelius or the frivolous joy of Tchaikovsky IIIrd movt or the drama of the Mendelsohnn Ist movt.. (or come to think of it the horror pain of having to listen to Berg's?!)
Originally Posted by Samuel1993
I've never particularly liked Mendelssohn. Sorry to any Mendelssohn fans, but when I listen or play his music, there's nothing there to me.

Well how about Mendelssohn when Liszt and Horowitz have a go...

Posted By: Sequentia Re: Composer's you just can't get in to... - 03/01/12 07:04 AM
Originally Posted by bennevis
Iannis Xenakis.
I had the misfortune to hear one of his pieces live once (while waiting for the Rachmaninoff concerto that was to follow), and had my ears nearly blown off by the noise. Harmony, melody, rhythm.....what??

BTW, I love listening to new/contemporary music: everything from Saariaho to Vine to (even ) Boulez and Stockhausen (in small doses). But there are limits.....


Not all Xenakis is "brutal". Try this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gkT2dS1CYvo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FbVwnaOIfqo
Posted By: Sequentia Re: Composer's you just can't get in to... - 03/01/12 07:06 AM
Originally Posted by Tararex
Mozart: Who unlike Liszt wasn't blessed with a long life to repair his errors.


Care to list them here? I'm sure it will make for interesting reading!
Posted By: wr Re: Composer's you just can't get in to... - 03/01/12 09:19 AM
Originally Posted by Sequentia
Originally Posted by bennevis
Iannis Xenakis.
I had the misfortune to hear one of his pieces live once (while waiting for the Rachmaninoff concerto that was to follow), and had my ears nearly blown off by the noise. Harmony, melody, rhythm.....what??

BTW, I love listening to new/contemporary music: everything from Saariaho to Vine to (even ) Boulez and Stockhausen (in small doses). But there are limits.....


Not all Xenakis is "brutal". Try this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gkT2dS1CYvo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FbVwnaOIfqo


I thought for a long time that Xenakis might prove to be a composer I'd never get. But, then, one day, something clicked while listening to one of his pieces, and it was "WOW! That's fantastic music!"

But he was one of the ones that took so long that I was beginning to wonder if I would ever get it. Milton Babbitt and Elliot Carter were like that for me, too, but their music also fell into place too, eventually. I think all it really takes is the desire to get it, some amount of persistence, and an open mind.

I can't think of any composer I know of right now that I totally don't get, but imagine there must be some out there, somewhere. There are some individual pieces I don't get, though, like Boulez' 2nd Sonata (his other works make sense to me - I don't know why that one doesn't).

Of course, there are some composers whose music I actually do get, but that I don't like and/or think aren't really very good. But that isn't the same thing, even if it can be tricky to figure out if the issue may really be that I "don't get" it. I've been mistaken more than once.

Posted By: bennevis Re: Composer's you just can't get in to... - 03/01/12 06:39 PM
I dig Boulez's 2nd Sonata (though Pollini might have something to do with it), but learning to play it is another matter....

Maybe I'll have another go at Xenakis, something quieter grin.
Originally Posted by bennevis
I dig Boulez's 2nd Sonata (though Pollini might have something to do with it), but learning to play it is another matter....

I think it has a LOT to do with it. I had listened to several recordings of the Boulez 2nd (Biret one of them), and never could make head nor tails of it.

Then I heard Pollini. All of sudden things started to make sense, the more gratifying as I'm not a big fan of Pollini's recordings of traditional music, Petrushka certainly excepted.
Originally Posted by currawong
Originally Posted by Vinn
I feel the same as you or rather lack of feel as I think his music has no emotion at all. I find his entire output to completely lifeless, bland and devoid of any emotion. Every single piece sound exactly the same as the one before it and the one that comes after.
Have you ever listened to the St Matthew Passion? Or the slow movement of the two-violin concerto?


That's exactly what I was going to suggest. If you find the St. Matthew Passion boring and unemotional, then I don't really know what to say. You don't even necessarily have to like it... but unemotional?!?!

Or maybe, it's the performers that are to blame, not dear old Johann Sebastian. I recommend the recordings of Herreweghe (the first version he recorded, I haven't heard the second, although I'm sure it's outstanding), JE Gardiner, Karl Richter, and Harnoncourt.

I've always thought that as ridiculous an idea as it is to state that a certain work is the greatest ever written, if put on the spot and forced to deliver an answer, I would have to go with the St. Matthew Passion.
Prokofiev,

I appreciate his music. I just cannot get into it.
Originally Posted by Opus_Maximus
Shostakovich and Bartok...


Really?? Not even the two piano sonata with percussion for Bartok?

And you must must must hear Gergiev/Mariinsky do Shostakovich. Made me love him.
Posted By: Nikolas Re: Composer's you just can't get in to... - 03/03/12 05:13 AM
Originally Posted by Pogorelich.
Originally Posted by Opus_Maximus
Shostakovich and Bartok...


Really?? Not even the two piano sonata with percussion for Bartok?

And you must must must hear Gergiev/Mariinsky do Shostakovich. Made me love him.
LOL! I actually made that very question (REALLY?!?!?!?!) a few pages back, Angie! grin
Oopsssssssssss.... I read too quickly....
Originally Posted by wr
[...] I think all it really takes is the desire to get it, some amount of persistence, and an open mind.[...]


Man, I love that line! smile
If we're talking about any composer at all, I'd say Berlioz. I just don't care for his particular brand of madness. To confine it to a keyboard composer, I'd have to say (please don't crucify me) Mozart. I find Mozart's music overly simplistic, lacking any emotion or expression, and too childish. I know a few of his sonatas, and I must say, I truly didn't care for it. Some parts of his works were nothing short of obnoxious. I can see that his music might appeal to many people, but to me, Mozart's music isn't satisfying at all. In my opinion, the only decent thing he ever wrote was his 40th symphony.
Originally Posted by RachManiac
If we're talking about any composer at all, I'd say Berlioz. I just don't care for his particular brand of madness.

Funny how it goes, but to each his own.

I love Berlioz -his sound world is always so immediately recognized- so why not try Harold in Italy? That was the piece which first spoke to me. It was a relief after all the drug-induced hyperbole of Symphonie Fantastique.
Posted By: Damon Re: Composer's you just can't get in to... - 03/05/12 04:18 AM
Originally Posted by argerichfan

I love Berlioz -his sound world is always so immediately recognized- so why not try Harold in Italy?


Have you tried the Liszt transcription?
Originally Posted by Damon

Have you tried the Liszt transcription?

Oh yes indeed!
Originally Posted by RachManiac
If we're talking about any composer at all, I'd say Berlioz. I just don't care for his particular brand of madness. To confine it to a keyboard composer, I'd have to say (please don't crucify me) Mozart. I find Mozart's music overly simplistic, lacking any emotion or expression, and too childish. I know a few of his sonatas, and I must say, I truly didn't care for it. Some parts of his works were nothing short of obnoxious. I can see that his music might appeal to many people, but to me, Mozart's music isn't satisfying at all. In my opinion, the only decent thing he ever wrote was his 40th symphony.
\

I won't crucify you, but I will put the nails and hammer up on the table. Recently I found myself listening to more Mozart, and what I found was how much I enjoyed him, really depended upon the player more so then other composers. I found that I enjoyed his music much more on the fortepiano, where it seemed the pianists could be a bit more agressive and vulgar with the music. I sometimes have felt that the Modern grand is a bit overpowered for mozart. Using a tank, when a rifle would work just fine. I have enjoyed alfred brendel's recordings of mozart, it just seems he could go more all out, without overpowering or being too romantic. Or enjoy the tightrope walk when listening to Murrah Perahia, his sense of control and balance, the music could feel dangerous. I even listened to Pletnev, in some of the concertos, who seemed a bit more aggressive, but he somehow made it work.

I remember a few years ago I saw Emanual Ax perform the 17th and 25th concertos in one night. It was amazing. His sense of control and balance. It felt full of passion and fire. It felt dangerous and hush hush. Everything a good performance needs. I remember that performance more clearly then times I have seen the big romantic concertos performed.

Though in all fairness, my love of Mozart has been pointed out to correspond to my love life.
Posted By: Ian_G Re: Composer's you just can't get in to... - 03/06/12 11:19 PM
It's madness to judge Mozart by his keyboard output alone, of course. Almost everything he wrote for that instrument was more or less shaken from his sleeve, with a few notable exceptions.

For my own part, I'd say everything composed by an English national after 1695.
A composer I had trouble with (for Keyboard) is Ives. Until recently when I immersed myself in Denk's CD. I found much "modernist" joy in listening but it was quite cerebral at first.
Another American composer I am still learning to appreciate is Gershwin. I see what the fuss is about but it stays surface deep.
Have you heard Jack Gibbons' performance of Rhapsody in Blue? smile

Regarding "surface deep," I listen to his music when I just want something enjoyable. It doesn't move me the same way Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, and Brahms do.
Yes Jack tried and (almost) succeeded in converting me. I guess it is not possible to dislike rhapsody in blue especially when played very well, but I don't miss it if I don't listen to it often.
Originally Posted by Ian_G

For my own part, I'd say everything composed by an English national after 1695.

Everything after the death of Henry Purcell?

That is too bad. The old 'Land without music' received wisdom, eh?

Ignoring selected Gilbert & Sullivan operettas which will continue to be performed -like them or not- all over the planet in many translations including German, the premiere in 1899 of Elgar's Enigma Variations changed the whole dynamic.

You may not care for the piece -and I realize this thread is just personal opinion- but IMO it matches anything the Germans were writing at the time. No less than Rachmaninov, Mahler, Richard Strauss and Toscanini programmed it, and they were nobody's fools. More recently the composers Krzysztof Penderecki and John Adams have praised it.

But to each his own. smile
One composer I just cannot understand, no matter how hard I try, is Marjan Mozetich. His music drives me crazy. I don't know if there's something wrong with me... but I don't think I will ever enjoy his music.
Posted By: painter55 Re: Composer's you just can't get in to... - 03/07/12 09:53 PM
Liszt makes no sense to me at all.
Posted By: Carey Re: Composer's you just can't get in to... - 03/07/12 11:57 PM
Originally Posted by argerichfan
.... the premiere in 1899 of Elgar's Enigma Variations changed the whole dynamic. You may not care for the piece -and I realize this thread is just personal opinion- but IMO it matches anything the Germans were writing at the time. No less than Rachmaninov, Mahler, Richard Strauss and Toscanini programmed it, and they were nobody's fools. More recently the composers Krzysztof Penderecki and John Adams have praised it.


thumb thumb thumb
I dislike anything Bach for the piano. However, I enjoy Bach on traditional baroque instruments like the organ, cello, and flute. I've always admired but never liked any of his works when they were played on the piano. I really do think his music is meant to be played on a harpsichord, but admittedly I still only like it a tad bid more than the piano. However, his works for violin, cello, flute ect. are incredible. There is such a simple beauty and joy to it
Posted By: Carey Re: Composer's you just can't get in to... - 03/08/12 07:01 AM
Originally Posted by How you doing?
There is such a simple beauty and joy to it


Well - you got that part right !!! grin
Originally Posted by How you doing?
I dislike anything Bach for the piano. However, I enjoy Bach on traditional baroque instruments like the organ, cello, and flute. I've always admired but never liked any of his works when they were played on the piano. I really do think his music is meant to be played on a harpsichord, but admittedly I still only like it a tad bid more than the piano. However, his works for violin, cello, flute ect. are incredible. There is such a simple beauty and joy to it


I'm the same way with his piano works. I can listen to them and get much joy out of them in VERY small doses, but past that I get bored. The aria in the Goldbergs has to be one of the most beautiful things i've ever heard...but the rest of the piece i'm lukewarm on.

However, a lot of his other stuff I am extremely partial to, especially the choral music. However, I wouldn't put anything he wrote among my favourite music.
Posted By: stores Re: Composer's you just can't get in to... - 03/08/12 08:58 AM
Originally Posted by pianojosh23
Originally Posted by How you doing?
I dislike anything Bach for the piano. However, I enjoy Bach on traditional baroque instruments like the organ, cello, and flute. I've always admired but never liked any of his works when they were played on the piano. I really do think his music is meant to be played on a harpsichord, but admittedly I still only like it a tad bid more than the piano. However, his works for violin, cello, flute ect. are incredible. There is such a simple beauty and joy to it


I'm the same way with his piano works. I can listen to them and get much joy out of them in VERY small doses, but past that I get bored. The aria in the Goldbergs has to be one of the most beautiful things i've ever heard...but the rest of the piece i'm lukewarm on.

However, a lot of his other stuff I am extremely partial to, especially the choral music. However, I wouldn't put anything he wrote among my favourite music.


Both posts more than warrant the respective posters a place on my list.
Originally Posted by stores
Originally Posted by pianojosh23
Originally Posted by How you doing?
I dislike anything Bach for the piano. However, I enjoy Bach on traditional baroque instruments like the organ, cello, and flute. I've always admired but never liked any of his works when they were played on the piano. I really do think his music is meant to be played on a harpsichord, but admittedly I still only like it a tad bid more than the piano. However, his works for violin, cello, flute ect. are incredible. There is such a simple beauty and joy to it


I'm the same way with his piano works. I can listen to them and get much joy out of them in VERY small doses, but past that I get bored. The aria in the Goldbergs has to be one of the most beautiful things i've ever heard...but the rest of the piece i'm lukewarm on.

However, a lot of his other stuff I am extremely partial to, especially the choral music. However, I wouldn't put anything he wrote among my favourite music.


Both posts more than warrant the respective posters a place on my list.


Because we aren't too fond of a composer you like? We made subjective statements and didn't say anything about the quality of his music, just that he didn't write our preferred music.

I'm sick of people acting like, well, your signiature. Like if you don't like Bach there's something wrong with you. The high brow attitiude associated with Bach attempts to betray the fact that tastes are subjective, almost as if Bach is one of Plato's 'forms' for music despite it clearly being accessible to all. I hate to break it to you, but Bach is not a God, nor is he perfect, but rather a composer who wrote music that ones enjoyment of is completely subjective, like all other composers.
Posted By: stores Re: Composer's you just can't get in to... - 03/08/12 09:38 AM
Originally Posted by pianojosh23
Originally Posted by stores
Originally Posted by pianojosh23
Originally Posted by How you doing?
I dislike anything Bach for the piano. However, I enjoy Bach on traditional baroque instruments like the organ, cello, and flute. I've always admired but never liked any of his works when they were played on the piano. I really do think his music is meant to be played on a harpsichord, but admittedly I still only like it a tad bid more than the piano. However, his works for violin, cello, flute ect. are incredible. There is such a simple beauty and joy to it


I'm the same way with his piano works. I can listen to them and get much joy out of them in VERY small doses, but past that I get bored. The aria in the Goldbergs has to be one of the most beautiful things i've ever heard...but the rest of the piece i'm lukewarm on.

However, a lot of his other stuff I am extremely partial to, especially the choral music. However, I wouldn't put anything he wrote among my favourite music.


Both posts more than warrant the respective posters a place on my list.


Because we aren't too fond of a composer you like? We made subjective statements and didn't say anything about the quality of his music, just that he didn't write our preferred music.

I'm sick of people acting like, well, your signiature. Like if you don't like Bach there's something wrong with you. The high brow attitiude associated with Bach attempts to betray the fact that tastes are subjective, almost as if Bach is one of Plato's 'forms' for music despite it clearly being accessible to all. I hate to break it to you, but Bach is not a God, nor is he perfect, but rather a composer who wrote music that ones enjoyment of is completely subjective, like all other composers.


It has nothing to do with MY like or dislike. It simply means you don't get it. You lack the understanding. There is not any high brow attitude associated with Bach, any more than any other composer (and it's laughable to say so). I hate to break it to YOU, but within the forms he worked, yes, Bach, was as close to perfect as you'll find. The fact that one says they find themselves bored (and not only with Bach) with any music and still call themselves a musician is reason enough to land on my list regardless of anything else that's been mentioned. I don't honestly care whether you like Bach or not, you see.
Originally Posted by stores
Originally Posted by pianojosh23
Originally Posted by stores
Originally Posted by pianojosh23
Originally Posted by How you doing?
I dislike anything Bach for the piano. However, I enjoy Bach on traditional baroque instruments like the organ, cello, and flute. I've always admired but never liked any of his works when they were played on the piano. I really do think his music is meant to be played on a harpsichord, but admittedly I still only like it a tad bid more than the piano. However, his works for violin, cello, flute ect. are incredible. There is such a simple beauty and joy to it


I'm the same way with his piano works. I can listen to them and get much joy out of them in VERY small doses, but past that I get bored. The aria in the Goldbergs has to be one of the most beautiful things i've ever heard...but the rest of the piece i'm lukewarm on.

However, a lot of his other stuff I am extremely partial to, especially the choral music. However, I wouldn't put anything he wrote among my favourite music.


Both posts more than warrant the respective posters a place on my list.


Because we aren't too fond of a composer you like? We made subjective statements and didn't say anything about the quality of his music, just that he didn't write our preferred music.

I'm sick of people acting like, well, your signiature. Like if you don't like Bach there's something wrong with you. The high brow attitiude associated with Bach attempts to betray the fact that tastes are subjective, almost as if Bach is one of Plato's 'forms' for music despite it clearly being accessible to all. I hate to break it to you, but Bach is not a God, nor is he perfect, but rather a composer who wrote music that ones enjoyment of is completely subjective, like all other composers.


It has nothing to do with MY like or dislike. It simply means you don't get it. You lack the understanding. There is not any high brow attitude associated with Bach, any more than any other composer (and it's laughable to say so). I hate to break it to YOU, but within the forms he worked, yes, Bach, was as close to perfect as you'll find. The fact that one says they find themselves bored (and not only with Bach) with any music and still call themselves a musician is reason enough to land on my list regardless of anything else that's been mentioned. I don't honestly care whether you like Bach or not, you see.


I'm not denying that my not particularly liking Bach is much more to do with me than him, otherwise he wouldn't be considered so great. But really? There's not any more high brow attitude towards Bach than say, Liszt? Your very signature points to that attitude. Also, who defines perfect? How can Bach be perfect if so many find his music to be academic and dry? I don't care how well crafted or how pure his music is, to me and countless others Bach is not perfect or as close to perfection as you can find. Perfection, again, is subjective.

And also, 'The fact that one says they find themselves bored (and not only with Bach) with any music and still call themselves a musician is reason enough to land on my list regardless of anything else that's been mentioned' is just plain hypocritical. I've seen you call pieces boring before, and also weren't you one of the people who was on the 'against' side of the hip hop and techno debate? Welcome to your own list.
Posted By: DadAgain Re: Composer's you just can't get in to... - 03/08/12 12:52 PM
Join and embrace 'the list' with pride. Its where all the funky interesting people are hanging out, listening to and playing a wide variety of different exiting and enriching music.

I love being on 'the list' and have always been proud to stick my nose up at music snobs of any variety who make outlandish claims that their chosen and worshipped style is somehow the ultimate form of art superior to all else.

To me it's as ridiculous as people claiming that Christianity
is somehow more right and superior to Islam or Paganism. If it makes you happy that's fine - but don't try and tell anyone else they are wrong simply because you don't share their views.
Posted By: Carey Re: Composer's you just can't get in to... - 03/08/12 02:51 PM
Originally Posted by pianojosh23

I'm the same way with his piano works.


Bach didn't write for the piano. grin
Posted By: Carey Re: Composer's you just can't get in to... - 03/08/12 03:01 PM
Originally Posted by DadAgain

I love being on 'the list' and have always been proud to stick my nose up at music snobs of any variety who make outlandish claims that their chosen and worshipped style is somehow the ultimate form of art superior to all else.


Isn't sticking one's nose up at music snobs - and being proud of it - simply another form of snobbery ?? crazy
Originally Posted by carey
Originally Posted by pianojosh23

I'm the same way with his piano works.


Bach didn't write for the piano. grin


grin I was waiting for someone to comment on that. I'm wondering what Bach would have written if the piano had been the most popular keyboard instrument from his birth...
Posted By: boo1234 Re: Composer's you just can't get in to... - 03/08/12 04:10 PM
schubert doesn't do anything for me.
Posted By: Vinn Re: Composer's you just can't get in to... - 03/08/12 06:12 PM
Originally Posted by stores
Originally Posted by pianojosh23
Originally Posted by stores
Originally Posted by pianojosh23
Originally Posted by How you doing?
I dislike anything Bach for the piano. However, I enjoy Bach on traditional baroque instruments like the organ, cello, and flute. I've always admired but never liked any of his works when they were played on the piano. I really do think his music is meant to be played on a harpsichord, but admittedly I still only like it a tad bid more than the piano. However, his works for violin, cello, flute ect. are incredible. There is such a simple beauty and joy to it


I'm the same way with his piano works. I can listen to them and get much joy out of them in VERY small doses, but past that I get bored. The aria in the Goldbergs has to be one of the most beautiful things i've ever heard...but the rest of the piece i'm lukewarm on.

However, a lot of his other stuff I am extremely partial to, especially the choral music. However, I wouldn't put anything he wrote among my favourite music.


Both posts more than warrant the respective posters a place on my list.


Because we aren't too fond of a composer you like? We made subjective statements and didn't say anything about the quality of his music, just that he didn't write our preferred music.

I'm sick of people acting like, well, your signiature. Like if you don't like Bach there's something wrong with you. The high brow attitiude associated with Bach attempts to betray the fact that tastes are subjective, almost as if Bach is one of Plato's 'forms' for music despite it clearly being accessible to all. I hate to break it to you, but Bach is not a God, nor is he perfect, but rather a composer who wrote music that ones enjoyment of is completely subjective, like all other composers.


It has nothing to do with MY like or dislike. It simply means you don't get it. You lack the understanding. There is not any high brow attitude associated with Bach, any more than any other composer (and it's laughable to say so). I hate to break it to YOU, but within the forms he worked, yes, Bach, was as close to perfect as you'll find. The fact that one says they find themselves bored (and not only with Bach) with any music and still call themselves a musician is reason enough to land on my list regardless of anything else that's been mentioned. I don't honestly care whether you like Bach or not, you see.



You claim there is not a high brow attitude when it comes to Bach and yet you're trying to claim his music is perfection in a completely objective sense and anyone who disagrees "lacks understanding" or they "don't get it".

The irony in that statement is killing me.

There is some sort of superior than thou, high brow, snobby attitude among Bach fans and easily more so than any other composer. I've never seen or heard anyone try to claim Chopin or Rachmaninoff was objectively musical perfection and anyone who doesn't get their music is an idiot.

The last statement you said "I don't honestly care whether you like Bach or not, you see."

Obviously you do, you responded to them and them not liking Bach somehow put them onto some "list" of yours which you felt the need to tell people about.

Your entire post reeks of hypocrisy.
Posted By: Damon Re: Composer's you just can't get in to... - 03/08/12 09:44 PM
Originally Posted by carey
Originally Posted by pianojosh23

I'm the same way with his piano works.


Bach didn't write for the piano. grin


You're right, so a discussion of him doesn't even belong in this forum. grin
Posted By: Carey Re: Composer's you just can't get in to... - 03/08/12 09:51 PM
Vinn -

The reality is that people will be listening to Bach long after those of us participating in PW are gone and forgotten. It really doesn't matter whether we like or don't like Bach's music. Our personal opinions mean very little in the great scheme of things.

The list in question is an "ignore" list. You can do yourself a favor by simply ignoring him as well since his comments seem to irritate you. Life's too short. smile
Bach wrote for keyboard instruments, and the piano happens to be a keyboard instrument. It just wasn't around a lot when Bach was alive and composing.
Posted By: stores Re: Composer's you just can't get in to... - 03/08/12 11:43 PM
Originally Posted by pianojosh23


Your very signature points to that attitude.


I didn't say it...Debussy did. I'm betting he knew a thing or two eh?


Originally Posted by pianojosh23


I don't care how well crafted or how pure his music is, to me and countless others Bach is not perfect or as close to perfection as you can find.


If you knew what you were talking about then you'd realise that Bach was, indeed, as close to perfection as you'll find with the forms within he worked. There is a reason his genius is remembered today, some 260 years later, though he certainly wasn't even the most well known composer of his time (though more well known than most think). Please tell me how Bach's work is flawed (don't give me the academic/dry blah blah, because that only tells me you don't listen well) and I'll listen, but make sure you do your homework.

Originally Posted by pianojosh23

I've seen you call pieces boring before, and also weren't you one of the people who was on the 'against' side of the hip hop and techno debate? Welcome to your own list.


Firstly, I do not believe I've ever called any work boring here. If I have, please point it out and I'll eat the crow. What does the fact that I have no time for garbage like hip hop or techno have anything to do with finding a work boring or being bored, etc.? I'm not bored by it, nor do I find it boring...I find it obnoxious, ridiculous and utter garbage.

Posted By: stores Re: Composer's you just can't get in to... - 03/08/12 11:47 PM
Originally Posted by carey


The list in question is an "ignore" list.


Actually, carey, there are only a few on my ignore list. The list I often mention is my "not to be taken seriously" list. That list is rather full, but there are always vacancies.
In the interest of creating more controversy I will say that Haydn's solo piano works don't do much for me. In terms of solo piano music, I probably wouldn't rate him in the top 15.
Posted By: beet31425 Re: Composer's you just can't get in to... - 03/09/12 12:17 AM
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
In the interest of creating more controversy I will say that Haydn's solo piano works don't do much for me. In terms of solo piano music, I probably wouldn't rate him in the top 15.


If you really want to create controversy, tell the people who disagree with you about Haydn that they don't get it and lack understanding. smile

Also, if his works don't do much for you, why would you even consider him for your top 15? Your use of "probably" seems to imply that that there are only about 15 composers for piano that you really like.

-J
Originally Posted by beet31425
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
In the interest of creating more controversy I will say that Haydn's solo piano works don't do much for me. In terms of solo piano music, I probably wouldn't rate him in the top 15.


If you really want to create controversy, tell the people who disagree with you about Haydn that they don't get it and lack understanding. smile

Also, if his works don't do much for you, why would you even consider him for your top 15? Your use of "probably" seems to imply that that there are only about 15 composers for piano that you really like.

-J
I put in "probably" to soften my harsh words so no one would faint.
Posted By: Carey Re: Composer's you just can't get in to... - 03/09/12 12:23 AM
Originally Posted by stores
Originally Posted by carey


The list in question is an "ignore" list.


Actually, carey, there are only a few on my ignore list. The list I often mention is my "not to be taken seriously" list. That list is rather full, but there are always vacancies.


Oops - I completely forgot about the "not to be taken seriously list." Nice to know there are still plenty of spaces available on it !!! grin
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by beet31425
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
In the interest of creating more controversy I will say that Haydn's solo piano works don't do much for me. In terms of solo piano music, I probably wouldn't rate him in the top 15.


If you really want to create controversy, tell the people who disagree with you about Haydn that they don't get it and lack understanding. smile

Also, if his works don't do much for you, why would you even consider him for your top 15? Your use of "probably" seems to imply that that there are only about 15 composers for piano that you really like.

-J
I put in "probably" to soften my harsh words so no one would faint.

Too late! laugh

Time to get out my recording of the E minor sonata.
Originally Posted by stores
Originally Posted by pianojosh23


Your very signature points to that attitude.


I didn't say it...Debussy did. I'm betting he knew a thing or two eh?


Originally Posted by pianojosh23


I don't care how well crafted or how pure his music is, to me and countless others Bach is not perfect or as close to perfection as you can find.


If you knew what you were talking about then you'd realise that Bach was, indeed, as close to perfection as you'll find with the forms within he worked. There is a reason his genius is remembered today, some 260 years later, though he certainly wasn't even the most well known composer of his time (though more well known than most think). Please tell me how Bach's work is flawed (don't give me the academic/dry blah blah, because that only tells me you don't listen well) and I'll listen, but make sure you do your homework.

Originally Posted by pianojosh23

I've seen you call pieces boring before, and also weren't you one of the people who was on the 'against' side of the hip hop and techno debate? Welcome to your own list.


Firstly, I do not believe I've ever called any work boring here. If I have, please point it out and I'll eat the crow. What does the fact that I have no time for garbage like hip hop or techno have anything to do with finding a work boring or being bored, etc.? I'm not bored by it, nor do I find it boring...I find it obnoxious, ridiculous and utter garbage.



I don't care who said it, you still put it in your signiature. And just because Debussy said it, it does not mean Bach is the greatest or objectively perfect.

I'm not saying that Bachs music isn't brilliantly written and I agree he was a genius. I never denied that. However not everyone finds his style of writing to be perfect. Some people will prefer the writing of composers like Beethoven, Chopin, Mahler, Liszt - and so Bach cannot be objectively perfect or as close to objectively perfect as possible. Beautifully crafted compositions based on the 'rules' of music does not mean perfection when a different composer could write in a less 'well-crafted' manner that has different qualities that one could find a lot more appealing. That's the way I look at it, anyway.

And here is where you called a piece boring. http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/1809878/Could%20this%20be%20Liszt's%20Hardest%20.html
Posted By: btb Re: Composer's you just can't get in to... - 03/09/12 09:03 AM
In the great order of things, musical composers are necessarily bred
in the history of their forebears, and those with genius add their
footprint ... thus a succession of

Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Schumann, Chopin ...
right up to Debussy, Rachmaninoff and Gershwin.

Longevity depends on popularity ... thus the gentle fading of some ... on my list Bach and Haydn are respectfully dimming ... as are Mendelssohn, Schumann and perhaps Debussy ... and even Rachmaninoff.

However, kingpins like Beethoven and Chopin ... go on forever.
Posted By: stores Re: Composer's you just can't get in to... - 03/09/12 09:05 AM
Originally Posted by pianojos23


I don't care who said it, you still put it in your signiature. And just because Debussy said it, it does not mean Bach is the greatest or objectively perfect.


Who cares that I put it in my signature? What does that have to do with anything? Did I say that because Debussy said it that it means Bach is the greatest or perfect? No, I did not.


Originally Posted by pianojosh23


However not everyone finds his style of writing to be perfect.


I've not said a thing about his STYLE of writing. I told you to re-read what I said, but clearly you didn't. I'm not going to spell it out for you.


Originally Posted by pianojosh23


Beautifully crafted compositions based on the 'rules' of music does not mean perfection when a different composer could write in a less 'well-crafted' manner that has different qualities that one could find a lot more appealing. That's the way I look at it, anyway.


Huh? What the helll does that even mean?

Originally Posted by pianojos23


And here is where you called a piece boring. http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/1809878/Could%20this%20be%20Liszt's%20Hardest%20.html


One helping of crow please. I do recall saying that now, yes, and I'll take another bite, because it IS a trite, banal thing (and yes, boring) and as with much of Liszt does nothing for me. I must say, you've one heck of a memory to recall something I said three months ago. I think I understand why it stayed in your mind, however.

I'll not reply further regarding this nonsense, so leave it be
Posted By: Sam Rose Re: Composer's you just can't get in to... - 03/09/12 10:05 AM
Originally Posted by stores

Actually, carey, there are only a few on my ignore list. The list I often mention is my "not to be taken seriously" list. That list is rather full, but there are always vacancies.


Have you committed this list to memory, or do you need to use the sheets?
Posted By: wr Re: Composer's you just can't get in to... - 03/09/12 10:06 AM
Originally Posted by pianojosh23
I hate to break it to you, but Bach is not a God, nor is he perfect, but rather a composer who wrote music that ones enjoyment of is completely subjective, like all other composers.


Your enjoyment may be completely subjective in nature, but don't assume that is the case with everyone. Quality and degree of achievement may give the appearance of being subjective because it is not easily quantifiable, but in fact, it is something that is discernible to people familiar with the territory.

For example, if I subjectively enjoy Telemann's music more than Bach's, my subjective reaction doesn't make Telemann the better composer. The overall quality of Bach's music is still greater than Telemann's. And that's not subjective, but something inherent in the music itself, and it is something that knowledgeable people generally agree upon, even if it is not measurable.



Posted By: AZNpiano Re: Composer's you just can't get in to... - 03/09/12 10:16 AM
Originally Posted by argerichfan
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by beet31425
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
In the interest of creating more controversy I will say that Haydn's solo piano works don't do much for me. In terms of solo piano music, I probably wouldn't rate him in the top 15.


If you really want to create controversy, tell the people who disagree with you about Haydn that they don't get it and lack understanding. smile

Also, if his works don't do much for you, why would you even consider him for your top 15? Your use of "probably" seems to imply that that there are only about 15 composers for piano that you really like.

-J
I put in "probably" to soften my harsh words so no one would faint.

Too late! laugh

Time to get out my recording of the E minor sonata.

I personally enjoy the C-sharp minor Sonata more.
Originally Posted by wr
Originally Posted by pianojosh23
I hate to break it to you, but Bach is not a God, nor is he perfect, but rather a composer who wrote music that ones enjoyment of is completely subjective, like all other composers.


Your enjoyment may be completely subjective in nature, but don't assume that is the case with everyone. Quality and degree of achievement may give the appearance of being subjective because it is not easily quantifiable, but in fact, it is something that is discernible to people familiar with the territory.

For example, if I subjectively enjoy Telemann's music more than Bach's, my subjective reaction doesn't make Telemann the better composer. The overall quality of Bach's music is still greater than Telemann's. And that's not subjective, but something inherent in the music itself, and it is something that knowledgeable people generally agree upon, even if it is not measurable.





You're right, of course. I was just annoyed at the idea I often hear that if you don't like Bach there's something wrong with you. But yes, what I said is wrong (to an extent, of course).
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
In the interest of creating more controversy I will say that Haydn's solo piano works don't do much for me. In terms of solo piano music, I probably wouldn't rate him in the top 15.


I agree, although I prefer them to Mozart's solo piano works. (However, Piano Concerti are a different story altogether with Mozart).

Posted By: babama Re: Composer's you just can't get in to... - 03/09/12 11:30 AM
Sure, you could acknowledge the prevailing opinion and what the professors and history books say about the quality and achievements of a composer. It is interesting, but ultimately I do not care about it. My subjective favorite composers ARE the greatest composers in own my mind. That's all that matters in the end. smile
Posted By: wr Re: Composer's you just can't get in to... - 03/09/12 11:36 AM
Originally Posted by pianojosh23
Originally Posted by wr
Originally Posted by pianojosh23
I hate to break it to you, but Bach is not a God, nor is he perfect, but rather a composer who wrote music that ones enjoyment of is completely subjective, like all other composers.


Your enjoyment may be completely subjective in nature, but don't assume that is the case with everyone. Quality and degree of achievement may give the appearance of being subjective because it is not easily quantifiable, but in fact, it is something that is discernible to people familiar with the territory.

For example, if I subjectively enjoy Telemann's music more than Bach's, my subjective reaction doesn't make Telemann the better composer. The overall quality of Bach's music is still greater than Telemann's. And that's not subjective, but something inherent in the music itself, and it is something that knowledgeable people generally agree upon, even if it is not measurable.





You're right, of course. I was just annoyed at the idea I often hear that if you don't like Bach there's something wrong with you. But yes, what I said is wrong (to an extent, of course).


I remember when the host of a long-running classical music radio program I used to listen confessed that he really didn't like Bach all that much. And it seems fine with me - nobody is required to like the entire body of Western classical music in order to be a valid classical music lover.

Posted By: zrtf90 Re: Composer's you just can't get in to... - 03/09/12 12:13 PM
Originally Posted by btb
Longevity depends on popularity ...


Sorry, I have to politely disagree with this. Longevity depends on greatness. Greatness depends on several things such as influence on successors, how they have changed the musical language of the day (which is why Bach and Beethoven will always be considered among, of not actually, the greatest), and the overall quality of their music.



Posted By: stores Re: Composer's you just can't get in to... - 03/09/12 11:25 PM
Originally Posted by Sam Rose
Originally Posted by stores

Actually, carey, there are only a few on my ignore list. The list I often mention is my "not to be taken seriously" list. That list is rather full, but there are always vacancies.


Have you committed this list to memory, or do you need to use the sheets?


Hahaha! Unfortunately, my memory with my list isn't nearly as good as my musical memory so there are many lapses.
To be completely honest, I'd have to say Bach. Although I do appreciate his gift of logical writing, I just can't 'fall in love' with his music. I like listening to his works when I wish to learn more about harmony and so forth, but other than that I'd rather listen to something that is emotionally gripping.
^ As a result of that I just don't feel obliged to learn many of his Preludes and Fugues.
Originally Posted by pianojosh23

I'm not saying that Bach's music isn't brilliantly written and I agree he was a genius. I never denied that. However not everyone finds his style of writing to be perfect.

Hey Josh, may I chime in for a moment?

I tend to agree with some other posters that Bach's keyboard compositions do have a certain sense of 'perfection' about them. I cannot quantify it, but I just know it is there. You're a young guy, why worry about it, you have plenty of time. In my late teens I had a bit of a love-hate relationship with Bach.

Recently you demonstrated a great love for Liszt's Ad nos, and I did encourage you to check out the original on the organ. Presumably if you have followed through then the idiom should become comfortable to your ears.

So if you do not presently care for, or appreciate Bach on the harpsichord or piano, then go via the back door and listen to his organ works. I promise you, those comprise Bach's greatest thoughts for the keyboard. As an organist, IMO they are the essence of genius and perfection, and not until the advent of Cesar Franck were Bach's organ works challenged for space on Parnassus.

You probably know the ubiquitous Toccata & Fugue in D minor, perhaps in orchestral or piano arrangements. The piece makes its mark regardless of the medium, though a real slap-up performance on the organ takes pride of place, especially heard live in a proper acoustic.

That said, it is hardly representative of Bach at his greatest. There has been an on-going debate for years about the true authorship of the T&F, and I have read persuasive arguments on both sides of the issue. Suffice it to say, if Bach didn't write the piece, then it was written by the most underrated/unknown composer in history.

My advice: listen to the Fantasy & Fugue in G minor (BWV 542) or the Prelude and Fugue in E minor ('Wedge' BWV 548). This is music which IMO has no parallel anywhere, and can hold its own with literally anything in the world of classical music. And if you find the prelude of BWV 548 a bit boring on first encounter, skip to the fugue. It is positively overwhelming and can be a life-changing experience. Every time I hear it, I am in awe of Bach's profound ability to remind me that I am in the presence of something so extraordinary that I am quite simply embarrassed to be a mere mortal.




Posted By: btb Re: Composer's you just can't get in to... - 03/10/12 05:58 AM
Thanks fan for the Bach recommendations

"My advice: listen to the Fantasy & Fugue in G minor (BWV 542) or the Prelude and Fugue in E minor ('Wedge' BWV 548)."

But which of the IMSLP translations should I
pick ... the score to the Liszt looks a bit fussy.

Kind regards, btb

PS Panic over fan ... seeing 2 lines of score, I misguessed
a translation for organ ... but in fact for piano ... I'm
busy with the first 5 measures ... pretty tricky stuff.

Another PS ... had to look up the word "ossia" in my Chambers ... which means "alternative" ... makes good sense,
so I'll give each line an alternativ e trundle.
I just can't seem to get into Mozart. I love Chopin, Bach, Liszt, and Brahms, though.
Definitely Debussy!
I have a tough time getting into most baroque composers. To me, baroque music has a mechanical feeling that I don't care for. With only a few exceptions, baroque music is relatively emotionless, at least in my opinion. I think it's because in this time period, many concepts of music theory were still being worked out, and the music reflects this. Also, I've noticed that baroque music in general has relatively weak melodies. I don't fuss over it incessantly, however I am the kind of person that always searches for melodies and motifs, and baroque music is unsatisfactory for this. I'm sure that there are indeed exceptions to my observations, but I'm making a broad generalisation of that whole period.
Posted By: David-G Re: Composer's you just can't get in to... - 04/07/12 04:06 PM
Originally Posted by RachManiac
If we're talking about any composer at all, I'd say Berlioz. I just don't care for his particular brand of madness. To confine it to a keyboard composer, I'd have to say (please don't crucify me) Mozart. I find Mozart's music overly simplistic, lacking any emotion or expression, and too childish. I know a few of his sonatas, and I must say, I truly didn't care for it. Some parts of his works were nothing short of obnoxious. I can see that his music might appeal to many people, but to me, Mozart's music isn't satisfying at all. In my opinion, the only decent thing he ever wrote was his 40th symphony.

Oh RachManiac, I wonder if you know whereof you speak... You don't care for Berlioz and Mozart, the two composers who can tie my emotions into knots more than any other!

I do wonder how many works of these composers you have listened to? The sublimely beautiful "Le Spectre de la Rose" from Berlioz's "Les Nuits d'été"? Or "D'amour l'ardente flamme" from La Damnation de Faust"? Those long sinuous lines of heart-melting beauty...

Or listen to Anna Caterina Antonacci's Cassandra, again those long sinuous lines, but with the beauty now shot through with despair and tragedy. No madness here. The mythical classical world, with all its passions, is brought to life with gripping immediacy. I find it difficult to listen dry-eyed.

And Mozart? I find it a little difficult to believe that you grant that the 40th symphony is decent, but find the "Jupiter" unsatisfying! It is a shame that you can't appreciate the amazing beauty of the piano concertos.

Have you ever listened to the G minor string quintet? "Lacking any emotion"? I can hardly think of any music that is more emotional. Except perhaps the "Masonic Funeral Music", which is shockingly intense in its sadness.

But of course, people are different. You might love Debussy...
Posted By: Batuhan Re: Composer's you just can't get in to... - 04/07/12 04:11 PM
Originally Posted by Brooke Johnson
I just can't seem to get into Mozart. I love Chopin, Bach, Liszt, and Brahms, though.


Listen Mozart's symphonic works not piano sonatas. Yes his piano sonatas like a student exercise i found them boring too.
Rachmaninoff. To me his music is just noise. I don't get it at all.
Originally Posted by GroceryLiszt
Rachmaninoff. To me his music is just noise. I don't get it at all.

What particular composition of Rachmaninov caused you to feel this way? Something really set you off, so do tell!
Originally Posted by GroceryLiszt
Rachmaninoff. To me his music is just noise. I don't get it at all.


I used to (sort of) feel that way, but the first sonata ROCKED my world, and I appreciate him much more. smile
Originally Posted by Orange Soda King

I used to (sort of) feel that way, but the first sonata ROCKED my world, and I appreciate him much more. smile

On the eve -in two months- of my 30th birthday, I'm slowly beginning to sort out what is important to me, and what is not important.

But Rachmaninov? He is so benign, his music never poses any challenge to the listener, it is so gloriously perfect in its honesty and technical address. A musical Swiss watch.

If he never bothered with the complications and unease of his great contemporaries -Mahler, Strauss, Sibelius, Elgar- why blame this unique man for all the beauty he has given us.
Originally Posted by argerichfan
Originally Posted by Orange Soda King

I used to (sort of) feel that way, but the first sonata ROCKED my world, and I appreciate him much more. smile

On the eve -in two months- of my 30th birthday, I'm slowly beginning to sort out what is important to me, and what is not important.

But Rachmaninov? He is so benign, his music never poses any challenge to the listener, it is so gloriously perfect in its honesty and technical address. A musical Swiss watch.

If he never bothered with the complications and unease of his great contemporaries -Mahler, Strauss, Sibelius, Elgar- why blame this unique man for all the beauty he has given us.


Amen to that. He was a brilliant orchestrator too. His 'Isle of the Dead' never fails to just blow me away.
Posted By: Numerian Re: Composer's you just can't get in to... - 04/08/12 02:08 AM
I'm glad to see after dozens of entries that Everybody likes Beethoven - or at least no one dislikes him. And what's not to like.

My problem is there is hardly any composer I don't like. If you don't like Bach, take argerichfan's advice - find yourself a church with a decent organ and ask permission to play for a few hours. Even if you don't know how to use the pedals well, you'll get a sense as to why his keyboard music for organ is so perfect. The majesty of the sound, the ease of playing when your hands can be on two keyboards rather than criss-crossing into each other, the beauty of the held notes. If you can't go all out for a church organ, a decent electronic keyboard will do.

Try some of the early 19th century composers like Field, von Weber, Hummel, Cramer, and the young Mendelssohn. I also enjoy sight-reading late 19th century salon music - Rubinstein, Paderewski, Moskowski, Thalberg, Chaminade, Jaell, Sinding - the list is nearly endless. Explore some of the early American great composers, Gottschalk and MacDowell.

I guess that is why I never get completely tired of the great composers; I let them be for awhile as I explore lesser-known composers.

If this topic were to include opera and orchestral composers, the only one I just can't listen to is Anton Bruckner. Repetitive and bombastic. How people can compare him to Mahler I'll never understand.
Posted By: Capricorn Re: Composer's you just can't get in to... - 04/09/12 06:24 PM
I can't stand Mozart's constant streams of music and I often feel it difficult to differentiate between many of his piano sonatas.
Posted By: Old Man Re: Composer's you just can't get in to... - 04/10/12 05:28 PM
To those who listed Bach, I applaud you for your honesty and courage. (But this seems to be one of the most civil forums I've encountered, so courage may not really be at play here).

But I must respectfully disagree. I think the problem is that there are really two Bachs: Bach the master mechanic, and Bach the poet. Bach was the ultimate keyboard guy, and the keyboard was his sandbox. This is where the master mechanic lived and played, where he "worked things out". The result, however, is that his keyboard works can often leave us high and dry emotionally. Those who are knowledgeable mechanics themselves (many on this forum, I presume) can wax eloquent on the logical beauty of Bach's structures and forms. But those of us who are not well-schooled in musical theory are often left wanting. If I'm seeking an emotional high, I'm not apt to fire up the Inventions or the Goldberg Variations. Interesting? Yes. Moving? Not exactly.

Instead, I go to his orchestral works, his choral works, and yes (to contradict myself a bit), his organ works. I think Bach the poet lives among the strings, not the keys. Think of the 2nd movement of Orchestral Suite No. 3, that played-to-death piece popularly known as "Air on G String". How can one with even a smidgen of musical soul not be moved, even on the umpteenth hearing? Or the Largo from Bach's "Double" Violin Concerto? For the more adventurous, try Bach's Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin. To those of us used to the rich harmonic palette of the piano, solo violin can sound a bit empty at first, but repeated listening will reveal works that are hauntingly beautiful, almost ethereal, particularly the Chaconne from Partita No. 2. I happen to have the Hilary Hahn version, and I find her interpretation astonishingly mature for one so young.

Bach's organ works often seem to integrate his mechanical and poetic sides. My own favorite is the "Passacaglia and Fugue in C Minor". Even my untrained ear can follow and appreciate the interweaving of the theme throughout the multiple variations, yet Bach the mechanic and Bach the poet cohabit just fine.

But if my house were burning, and I could save but one musical recording, it would certainly be Bach's Mass in B-Minor. IMHO it is Bach's greatest musical achievement, towering over all others. Unfortunately, the entire piece clocks in at over 2 hours, so it cannot be swallowed whole. Few are willing to expend the time required to truly know it, but should you ever decide to make the investment, start buying your Kleenex in bulk.

So to those of you who find Bach's keyboard works tedious, boring, mechanical, soulless, etc., I would simply ask that you seek out Bach the poet. It's not required that you add Bach to your own piano repertoire. You've got plenty of other composers to choose from. But to dismiss Bach altogether would be to deny yourself the transcendent pleasures of this unique genius in musical history.
Posted By: notbach Re: Composer's you just can't get in to... - 04/10/12 05:50 PM
Originally Posted by Old Man
(But this seems to be one of the most civil forums I've encountered, so courage may not really be at play here).


You must be new here. smile

Originally Posted by Old Man

To those of us used to the rich harmonic palette of the piano, solo violin can sound a bit empty at first, but repeated listening will reveal works that are hauntingly beautiful, almost ethereal, particularly the Chaconne from Partita No. 2. I happen to have the Hilary Hahn version, and I find her interpretation astonishingly mature for one so young.


One of my favorite recordings. Solo violin can sound grating to me, but her tone on this recording is just awesome.

Posted By: beet31425 Re: Composer's you just can't get in to... - 04/10/12 05:54 PM
Originally Posted by Old Man
I think the problem is that there are really two Bachs: Bach the master mechanic, and Bach the poet. Bach was the ultimate keyboard guy, and the keyboard was his sandbox. This is where the master mechanic lived and played, where he "worked things out". The result, however, is that his keyboard works can often leave us high and dry emotionally. Those who are knowledgeable mechanics themselves (many on this forum, I presume) can wax eloquent on the logical beauty of Bach's structures and forms. But those of us who are not well-schooled in musical theory are often left wanting. If I'm seeking an emotional high, I'm not apt to fire up the Inventions or the Goldberg Variations. Interesting? Yes. Moving? Not exactly.

I like this kind of analysis, but I totally disagree with its content. smile

I find the "mechanical" and "poetic" sides of Bach to be in full force in almost all his works. The Inventions are not representative of his deepest keyboard music, and, like you, I wouldn't seek them out for an emotional high. But I would seek out the Goldberg Variations-- and I do. As well as every single piece (96 of them!) of the Well Tempered Clavier. And the Art of the Fugue, if played right, can be heart-breaking. Music-theoretic knowledge is not required.

Conversely, the "mechanical" side of Bach is in full force in the non-keyboard pieces you name. The counterpoint, canons and fugues in the B minor Mass are astounding technical achievements. As in the keyboard works, a technical theoretic understanding of these forms helps the listener appreciate the piece that much more, and may even unlock a hidden level of emotional content... but they aren't necessary to deeply love the music.

Suggestion: Maybe you need to find the right recording of the keyboard music, or spend more time playing through it yourself? It's definitely worth exploring. Though in the end, it just might not appeal to you. We can't all love all the great stuff.


-Jason
Posted By: Old Man Re: Composer's you just can't get in to... - 04/10/12 07:07 PM
Notbach: Yes, I'm new here, but I've been around the block. And I've visited forums where the most innocuous comments produce knock-down, drag-down brawls. By comparison, this forum is eminently civil. And BTW, I don't want excessive amounts of civility either. So long as we can shake hands and down a pint or two afterwards, there's nothing more invigorating than a heated argument!

Jason: I think I'll dust off my Goldberg Variations (Gould) and devote some more listening time to them. Seemed a bit sterile to me, but I've only played them a couple of times, so I really haven't given them a fair hearing.

And I agree that the "mechanics" are certainly present in all of Bach's works. In fact, sound technical fundamentals must always under-gird the so-called "poetry" of any great musical work. But I disagree that all of Bach's music, especially his keyboard works, is emotionally engaging. But what is "emotionally engaging" is really in the ear of the the beholder. Then again, I suspect old man Bach had different objectives for different works, and keeping this Old Man emotionally engaged was probably not one of them. smile
Posted By: beet31425 Re: Composer's you just can't get in to... - 04/10/12 07:09 PM
Originally Posted by Old Man
Notbach: Yes, I'm new here, but I've been around the block. And I've visited forums where the most innocuous comments produce knock-down, drag-down brawls. By comparison, this forum is eminently civil. And BTW, I don't want excessive amounts of civility either. So long as we can shake hands and down a pint or two afterwards, there's nothing more invigorating than a heated argument!

Jason: I think I'll dust off my Goldberg Variations (Gould) and devote some more listening time to them. Seemed a bit sterile to me, but I've only played them a couple of times, so I really haven't given them a fair hearing.

And I agree that the "mechanics" are certainly present in all of Bach's works. In fact, sound technical fundamentals must always under-gird the so-called "poetry" of any great musical work. But I disagree that all of Bach's music, especially his keyboard works, is emotionally engaging. But what is "emotionally engaging" is really in the ear of the the beholder. Then again, I suspect old man Bach had different objectives for different works, and keeping this Old Man emotionally engaged was probably not one of them. smile

Welcome to the forum. Your articulate, civil (but hopefully heated) viewpoints are welcome.

-J
Posted By: MetalMan Re: Composer's you just can't get in to... - 04/11/12 06:09 AM
I'm with pianoloverus (a few pages back) Haydn's solo piano music, except for Sonata 'Un piccolo divertimento' 'Variations' in F minor, Hob XVII:6.
© Piano World Piano & Digital Piano Forums