Favorites composers and works

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Favorites composers and works

Postby Mozartlover » Thu Jun 07, 2001 3:30 pm

Are you allowed to dsiclose your favrite composers and works or is that classified information?<BR>Gary in Tyler
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Re: Favorites composers and works

Postby Nicole Marie » Thu Jun 07, 2001 5:05 pm

No, it's not that Top Secret!<P>I really love contemporary composers...<P>Glass, Cage, Stravinsky. As a performer, I enjoy working with that music much more.<BR>But for traditional classical composers I do love, Smetana, Verdi, Dvorak, Bruckner for the Romantics. <P>Beethoven has always held my interest. I find him to be ground breaking with the work he was producing during his lifetime. And of course, the Russians! Tchaikovsky, Cui have always amazed me with their work. The Mighty Five I also find interesting, not just for their music, but their ideas and life style.
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Re: Favorites composers and works

Postby Mozartlover » Thu Jun 07, 2001 5:38 pm

Thank you for the answer. I, too, enjoy reading about composers--especially Mozart as you might imagine. I have many books on his life. I find the music more alive when I know something of what is behind the pen. Despite his reputation as a tunespinner, I also find the music of Richard Strauss very enjoyable. His life certainly is full of drama. <BR>For me, Beethoven is just the definition of "heoric." When I need that kind of life, I know just where to go.<BR>I also have a "guilty pleasure." Although I hate to admit it, a waltz by Johann Strauss, Jr. pulls me into a make-believe world of elegance and grace. Don't tell a soul, okay?<BR>Again, thank you for the answer.<BR>Gary<BR>
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Re: Favorites composers and works

Postby EJA_2 » Fri Jun 08, 2001 11:25 am

Nicole,<P>This is something about which I have wondered. What aspect of contemporary music is it that makes it more enjoyable for you to perform? I could perhaps understand Stravinsky and Glass, but Cage does indeed perplex me. For me the "logic" of music is what makes it enjoyable. Stravinsky's "logic" is complex, thus hard to follow, but I can usually, eventually, catch on to it. Glass's "logic" ranges from simplistic (understandable, seeing he was more or less a minimalist) to broken. The former I can accept and even enjoy ("simplicity is genius" is one of my mottos), the latter irritates me. Cage's music, by it's very nature, is random, and this is not conducive to "logic" at all. For me, his music is meaningless. It's almost insulting to me that he would call it music and permit me to be assaulted with it. The only thing I like about Cage's music is that it innately sounds so nonsensical that even <I>I</I> couldn't make it sound worse, were I to perform it! And I'm telling you, when I pick up my violin these days, I can't even get the <I>open</I> strings to sound in tune! Understand, now, that I am talking about how the music affects me, not about the music <I>per se</I>, nor am I making any implication that there is anything wrong with someone who likes this music. I'm presenting my perspective in the hope that it will enable you to better present your perspective to me. <P>Perhaps it would be helpful if I would attempt to define what I mean by "logic." First, I will posit that there are certain sequences of notes that please the ear, and certain sequences that displease the ear. Furthermore, there are certain rythyms that are pleasing to the ear, and others (usually broken) that are displeasing to the ear. Moreover, those that are dipleasing to the ear can be used to pleasing effect if they are properly resolved. I would further posit that these pleasing and displeasing effects of musical sequences are common (though not universally) among individuals of a given culture, and indeed, to a lesser extent, among human beings in general. (There is even evidence that various animals have similiar tastes in music, moose, chickens, and elephants, for example.) These suppositions are basic, I believe, to the very concept of music. Did we, as humans, not hold at least the majority of our musical tastes in common, we wouldn't want to listen to one another's noises. What I have termed "logic", then, in this musical context, I have used to refer to sequences of sound and rythym that are pleasing to the human ear, with allowances for dissonant sequences, so long as they are resolved, the latter being something like repartee in conversation. <P>Goodness! I have waxed somewhat philosophical, but I hope that my question is clearly defined at least! <P> — EJA<p>[This message has been edited by EJA (edited 06-08-2001).]
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Re: Favorites composers and works

Postby shostakovich » Fri Jun 08, 2001 12:17 pm

Hi Nicole. When I read your short list of favorites, I assumed you were using extremes: Stravinsky to Cage, Tchaikovsky to Cui. I have to agree with Ethan that Cage ended up outside any definition of "acceptable" music. I've heard something of his called The Seasons. It is real music for an orchestra. He also wrote some music with Lou Harrison, whose music should be better known. He might be a bigger name on the west coast. <P>One day I happened to catch an interview of Cage on Morning Pro Musica. Lurtsema asked him something about his status as a composer. Cage said he didn't consider himself a composer. Lurtsema seemed to be taken off guard by this, because his pause was unusually long. As for me, it was disarmingly correct. For that I liked Cage --- but not his music. More recently I attended a reading by Cage at Wesleyan that was supposed to pass for "music(?)". He mumbled on about the environment and the human condition. Humanist, yes. Composer, no. At the dinner preceding his reading I learned from his colleagues that he was the nicest give-you-the-shirt-off-his-back kind of guy. But now, I'm wondering what you like of his,or might play.<P>As for Cui, I've only come across 2 compositions. He wrote much, but his main value to his group, as I recall, were the negative reviews he dealt to their adversaries. So what have you found to like and/or play?<P>I enjoy your explanations that accompany compositions on the air, and I look forward to an answer. I apologize if the questions seem confrontational, but I'm truly baffled. As the king of Siam said, "'Tis a Puzzlement".<BR>Shos
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Re: Favorites composers and works

Postby The Great Mazinga » Fri Jun 08, 2001 1:19 pm

Guys,<P>I think she mentioned as this is what she liked....not to be confrontational, but why should she need to explain to you what "music" she likes based upon other people's definition or likes??? <P>I think that is a better question to both of you.<P>Just accept that she may like what you may not....<P>------------------<BR>Don't get saucy with me, Bernaise!
Don't get saucy with me, Bernaise!
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Re: Favorites composers and works

Postby EJA_2 » Fri Jun 08, 2001 1:34 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by The Great Mazinga:<BR><B>Guys,<P>I think she mentioned as this is what she liked....not to be confrontational, but why should she need to explain to you what "music" she likes based upon other people's definition or likes???<BR></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE></B><BR>She doesn't <I>need</I> too, but if she wants to, we are interested. We're not having a witch trial here, Mr. Mazinga. Personally I was hoping Nicole would have some insight that might give me a new perspective on modern music. <BR> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"><B><BR>I think that is a better question to both of you.<P>Just accept that she may like what you may not....<BR></B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><BR>I certainly accept that, and I know Shos does too. It's what makes people interesting. How boring life would be if <I>everyone</I> had oatmeal for breakfast, <I>before</I> putting on their overalls, and did push-ups at lunch! I'm just wondering what she likes about it and why. Fair enough? <P>And, just for you, Mazinga,<BR><I>sic transit gloria friday</I> Image<P><BR> — EJA<BR>
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Re: Favorites composers and works

Postby Nicole Marie » Fri Jun 08, 2001 2:33 pm

Boys! Stop fighting.<P>I think the most imporatant reason why I like Cage is for a reason that Sho's already touched on. Reasons why I enjoy composers, are not just about the music they developed. It also includes their lifestyle and views. If you read about Cage or read some of his interviews, he holds many interesting ideas. <P>He peaks my interest. That is why I find his music enjoyable. Having knowledge about him as a person makes his music more inviting. I hope I can encourage you to do some research about Cage as a person, and not look at his music alone. <P>This holds true for all composers. If you research their life and personal views, you will begin to see the music in a different light.
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Re: Favorites composers and works

Postby EJA_2 » Fri Jun 08, 2001 3:24 pm

Nicole, do you know what one of Cage's foremost hobbies was? (How's your sense of irony?)<P>You are right, a person's beliefs give considerable insight into their music. I guess probably the main reason that I do not care for Cage's music is that my beliefs are so different from his. His beliefs and his music are prime examples of what I believe has been the decline of American art, music, and culture in the 20th century. Probably Cage was a great humanist. However, since I view humanism as a bankrupt philosophy, I find Cage's music to be bankrupt. I suppose that if you hold to humanism (I don't know that you do) you might enjoy his music. You are entitled to your beliefs as I am to mine, and I won't criticize your choice of music. <P>Lest I should be thought a syncretist, though, let me also mention that I believe that when two people hold differing opinions, there are only two possibilities: one is right and the other wrong, or both are wrong. They can't both be right according to the law of contradiction. <P>Enough of this mind-numbing boredom. On with the music!<P><BR> <P>------------------<BR> — EJA
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Re: Favorites composers and works

Postby Parrothead » Fri Jun 08, 2001 3:30 pm

My view on music (of all kinds, not just classical) are very simple (maybe too simplistic, but hey, what ya gonna do?). If I like it, I'll listen to it; if I don't, I won't. (Please don't critique my grammar and/or punctuation on that last sentance. Thank you.) <P>I listen to classical at work (on Beethoven.com of course), but listen to many different kinds at home and on the radio. I have my car radio tuned to classic rock, I listen to and play (very little any more) jazz at home and really enjoy most of Jimmy Buffett's music where ever I go.<P>I doubt I could match a classical piece to a composer unless it is very well known (1812 Overture, Brandenburg Concertos, Four Seasons, etc.) I would probably get more out of the music if I had time to research more composers. But, alas, I spend time doing other things.<P>Just my 2 cents worth.<P>------------------<BR>But I know one thing, indecision may or may not be my problem.<BR>PH
I know one thing. Indecision may or may not be my problem.
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Re: Favorites composers and works

Postby Nicole Marie » Fri Jun 08, 2001 4:28 pm

I don't agree with all of Cages views. I find I don't have to agree with a composers view to still understand and at times enjoy a piece.<P>I find that the music makes much more sense, if you know the direction a composer was coming from.<P>
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Re: Favorites composers and works

Postby Mozartlover » Fri Jun 08, 2001 5:24 pm

The course of this thread reminds of a Peanuts cartoon I alkways liked. Charlie Brown and Linus are staring up into the sky and Charlie Brown says, "What do those clouds remind you of, Linus?" Linus replies, "The stoning of St. Stephen as found in Acts Chapter 7.See! There is St. Paul holding the cloaks of the men about to stone Stephen." Charlie Brown replies, "Uh, I was going to say 'a horse.'" (apologies to Mr. Shultz for paraphasing)<BR>I am afraid I am a Charlie Brown to you Linus's when it comes to classical music. But I just like to know what music people especially like. Thanks again for the reply, Nicole.
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Re: Favorites composers and works

Postby EJA_2 » Fri Jun 08, 2001 6:15 pm

Nicole, point taken, and it's a good one. I will resist the temptation to ask how Cage decided his direction from which to come on any given day. Image His hobby was mushroom hunting. That should pique Image your sense of irony. Look, I hope you don't take any of this personally. I am at times obnoxious, and not infrequently garrulous, though I have a greater – and deserved – reputation for terseness. Nevertheless, at the end of the day, I'm really not very mean at all. <BR>Where is that Peter when I need him? <P>Mozartlover, your Peanuts quote reminded me of a piece of scripture from the gospel of John. In the passage God the Father spoke from heaven saying, "this is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased." John relays this, then describes the reaction of the multitude. "Some said it thundered, others said 'an angel of God spoke to Him.'" People's perception of a given event or concept can vary greatly! <P><BR>Cordially,<P> — EJA<p>[This message has been edited by EJA (edited 06-08-2001).]
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