Friday, August 3, 2012

Favorite classical music?



I've found myself listening to a lot of classical music recently; it must be the lack of satellite radio (we got rid of it a couple years back, when our time in the car started falling.) I'm a big fan of the pops stuff (Gershwin, Copland, Tchaikovsky (wow, I spelled that right!), Dvorak, etc.)

We don't have music in the lab, but I would sneak a little Mozart in there now and again, if I could. Readers, any suggestions? 

14 comments:

  1. You don't have to worry about spelling Tchaikovsky right. It's just a transliteration from Cyrillic, so you can make mistakes like miss the T completely and still be closer to the real pronounciation than the official English spelling.

    As far as piano music, I prefer Grieg. The most famous being 'In the Hall of the Mountain King' from Peer Gynt. If you're looking for something upbeat then you should try Brahms. The Hungarian Dance cycle. They are short and powerful and many of them have the same theme.

    Also, Beethoven has been popular since at least Clockwork Orange...

    For depressing stuff that's really well done, try Shostakovich's violin concertoes.

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  2. Isn't it dangerous to ask for music suggestions on a blog unrelated to it though? You're either going to get no takers, or 100 posts with everyone linking to their favorite youtube videos and a degenerating discussion of who is better: Justin Bieber or Tchaikovsky?

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  3. +1 to both Shostakovich and Grieg - the Peer Gynt suite remains one of my favourite pieces to this day. Mendelssohn's stuff is very accessible, as are Brahms and Liszt.

    If you're feeling like some Teutonic cacophony, there's alwasys Wagner...

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  4. I am a big fan of classical music. For me Mozart with his joyful tunes works best in the lab. Bach also works if you want to feel real smart, especially during quiet evenings when nobody's around. For tumultuous Sturm und Drang when you want to hit that synthesis really hard, listen to Mahler's symphonies, especially the 5th and the 8th. For deep and soulful contemplation about the future of organic synthesis I would recommend Chopin's etudes and nocturnes, especially the version by Maurizio Pollini. Then there's always Beethoven's late string quartet in C sharp minor when things are not going well and you want to kill yourself (Mahler also helps during these times).

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  5. Everyone is making good suggestions; I particularly +1 the Brahms, Beethoven, Dvorak, and Shostakovich mentions.

    I'm a definite fan of Bach if you want rather cerebral music; fugues are mind-bending fun. If for any reason you want to clear your mind and be serene for a while, I recommend Renaissance choral music (Josquin, Palestrina, Tallis, et al.). It's about as far from Gershwin or Copland as you can get, but very beautiful.

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  6. Gershwin's piano works are pretty great. Prokofiev and Rachmaninov piano concertos are always nice too.

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  7. I can't make any music recommendations but it is quite the coincidence you brought up music in the lab. I volunteered to clean some equipment today because I knew it meant I would be by myself most/all of the day and could blast my personal favorites over the speakers rather then please the crowd. Nice way to end the week.

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  8. I love the mental engagement from Baroque decoration and improvisation. Telemann's orchestral suites are outstanding. If you think you know Handel only from Messiah, you don't know what you're missing. Or you might like Cannabich or Fux...seriously.

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  9. Would also recommend Bach. I particularly like the Goldberg variations and the cello suites.

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  10. Love Copland. Second CW's rec of Mahler. Will also put in a recommendation for Bach's Brandenburg Concertos (my fave is No. 5, i, allegro).

    Random fact: Jeremy Knowles named one of his sons Sebastian as a nod to J.S. Bach.

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  11. As a former violinist, I'm slightly biased, but I can't believe that no one has mentioned any violin pieces. Instead of listing composers for you, I'm giving you a list of my top five pieces. I really hope you check them out.

    Jascha Heifetz playing Paganini Caprice No. 24 (or anything played by him), Paganini Caprice No. 2, Debussy Arabesque No. 1 for violin and piano (http://youtu.be/symjHZVerKM), Saint-Saens Violin Concerto No. 2, and Massenet Meditation from Thais.

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    Replies
    1. So that Arabesque was pretty amazing.

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    2. Yeah, I've listened to it like 5 times in a row.

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  12. Philip Glass! Crystalline beauty.

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