Gransnet forums


Classical music

(32 Posts)
grannyactivist Thu 24-May-18 16:06:29

Nankate's 'Fanfare' post has got me thinking. When I was at Junior School I went with my class to the Free Trade Hall in Manchester to listen to the Hallé Orchestra conducted by Sir John Barbirolli. It was the first time I'd heard classical music and I got quite teary listening to some of it. Fast forward fifty years and I've rediscovered a love of classical music both traditional and contemporary. I was wondering what others would say are their favourite choral/classical pieces as I would like to broaden my listening.

TerriBull Thu 24-May-18 16:39:41

I love a lot of classical music unfortunately I lack the knowledge to identify the pieces I really like, my mother took to listening to Classic FM in her latter years for that very purpose. I know I particularly love Pachelbel's Canon, Debussy's Clair de Lune and Intermezzo from Cavalleria Rusticana by Pietro Mascagni. Other than that most of Puccini's arias. Loads by Bach, Tchaikovsky, Handel, Vivaldi, Mozart to name but a few.

fiorentina51 Thu 24-May-18 16:50:16

I had a similar introduction to classical music as you did grannyactivist. I lived in a tough inner city area of Birmingham....think of bomb sites and back to back houses.
I came back to school for afternoon lessons after lunch at home and discovered that all the folding partitions, dividing the 4 classrooms of the junior school, had been pushed back to make one large room.
At the far end was a large group of musicians from the CBSO. Our school was about a 10 minute walk from Birmingham town hall the then home of the orchestra.
There followed an hour of music which just blew me away. I can still remember some of the pieces they played, it made such an impression on the little 8 year old me.😊
Offenbach's Can Can being the the grand finale!
Coincidentally, the CBSO's current home, the Symphony Hall, now stands where my old school used to be.

In answer to your post, my favourites are a bit of a mixture. I like anything by Mozart or Beethoven. I love Spem in Alium by Tallis. I enjoy Gilbert and Sullivan operettas and Bruch's violin concerto number 1 brings a tear to the eye.
I could go on.....but won't! 😆😉

Grandma70s Thu 24-May-18 16:52:49

Goodness, I wouldn’t know where to start! There’s just so MUCH classical music. I’ve sung all my life so I like good choral music, like Bach, Handel, Mozart or Benjamin Britten. For orchestral music I like Tchaikovsky and Mahler. Piano solo, Schubert and Chopin. I dislike corny composers like John Rutter or (especially) Karl Jenkins. I avoid Classic FM, and listen to Breakfast on Radio 3 which usually has a good selection of pieces.

I’m so pleased you liked the orchestral concerts you went to as a child. I actually found orchestral concerts rather boring at that age, but loved anything that was sung, and I loved ballet music. Still do.

Fennel Thu 24-May-18 16:53:55

I have a lot of favourites, though not keen on modern classical.
I think my No.1 is Rachmaninov's 2nd piano concerto, especially the romantic theme near the end:
For choral, Bach's my favourite, since singing in a choir in my teens.

Grandma70s Thu 24-May-18 17:24:15

Unlike some of you, I was brought up (in the 1940s and 50s) almost entirely on classical music. It was mostly piano and records (78s!) of singers like Kathleen Ferrier and Isobel Baillie. I never took to pop/rock music. In fact I probably never heard any until I was about 12 - did it exist in 1952? In my later teens some girls at school liked Elvis, but I just found him unintentionally funny. My friends were the same. It was the norm to like classical, or ‘music’ as we called it. It’s so sad that it no longer is.

Luckygirl Thu 24-May-18 17:24:49

I love all music - it is my whole life! I have been privileged to sing some of the world's most wonderful music with some of the world's best conductors/choir trainers - lucky, lucky me.

I have a special love of 20th century English music and proffer this little gem; There is a Willow grows aslant a Brook by Frank Bridge:

My father was very musical - got a scholarship to the Royal College, but could not take it up as an income was needed from him. But he pursued his music as best he could, in the face of my mother's opposition - that is another story - and rather a sad one.

But his love of music transferred to me - I do not know what my life might have been without it; and one of my missions in life has been to try and pass this on by running community choirs and singing workshops for all-comers, especially those who were told the could not sing - they can!!

pollyperkins Thu 24-May-18 17:35:51

I've also always loved classical music. Some of my early favourites included Tchaikovskys pathetique symphony and Schubert's Impromptus both introduced to me at school. Like others it's hard to know where to start these days. Most of Mizart esp overture to tge Marriage of Figaro, lots of Vivaldi including of course the Four seasons. Lots of Bach. including Faures Requiem (and the Cantique de Jean Racine) , also Verdi''s Requiem. Unlike Grandma70 I do enjoy Ruter and Karl Jenkins. And many more! I cant stand Eienaudi (sp?) though.

Daddima Thu 24-May-18 17:42:34

Like Luckygirl I’ve been singing all my life, and until I took ill I sang with some great conductors. My favourites are requiems by Mozart, Verdi, Brahms, and Fauré. Beethoven’s 9th, Mahler 8,and Messiah always bring a tear to my eye, more so because I don’t get the chance to sing them any more.
I love Elgar’s Enigma Variations and cello concerto, Intermezzo from Cavalliera Rusticana, Pictures at an Exhibition, Bruch’s Violin Concerto,oh, and many more.

I also love anything by Gilbert & Sullivan!

Grandma70s Thu 24-May-18 17:52:40

Just about anything by Mozart is a safe bet. Everything he wrote was beautiful. I was mostly a singer, but when at school I was allowed to play my treble recorder in the school orchestra to help boost the violins in Eine Kleine Nachtmusik. I loved it so much I used to come home on an absolute high after rehearsals.

winterwhite Thu 24-May-18 17:54:28

Oh, Handel top of the list for me now without a doubt. Tho top fave opera I think Fidelio so Beethoven second.
At school music appreciation was 100% modern (never found out why) wh was a turn-off I’m afraid. I didn’t hear any baroque until I was a student.
Anyone else remember Ace of Clubs LPs?

Izabella Thu 24-May-18 18:06:37

I studied classical music and theory and played piano in my youth, basically forced by parental aspirations. However my tastes changed as I got older and I rarely listen to it now. Much more a fan of house,trance, and electronic music generally. However, I can still appreciate the technical skill of musicians classical and modern. Jeff Beck and Rick Wakeman spring to mind, Buddy Guy, Eric, Bowie etc.

The only classical thing that stirred me recently was someone practicing a Bach Tocata and Fugue in
Chester Cathedral (despite the odd error) Now that was impressive! Interesting to read what other gransnetters like though.

joannapiano Thu 24-May-18 18:11:28

I play the piano and sing with a choir. I didn't get my love of classical music from my Dad, he played the piano for strippers in London!
My favourite piece is Beethoven's Pastoral, first movement in F.
Sorry, Grandma70s, I love to sing anything by John Rutter.

Greyduster Thu 24-May-18 19:08:58

I was captivated as a child by hearing Tchaikovsky’s first piano concerto, and I was twelve when a friend’s father took the two of us to see a live performance with the Halle Orchestra. Unfortunately I can’t remember who the pianist was, but I was mesmerised by it. I have been hooked on the classics ever since (not to the exclusion of other kinds of music - but mostly). Favourite piano concerto now? The Ravel G major, which has the most sublime second movement. Favourite composer? Everything Bach ever wrote, (but listen to the Prelude in E minor arranged for piano -three and a half minutes of sheer unmitigated joy!), but Vaughan Williams runs him a close second with such works as the Norfolk Rhapsodies - too little played IMO, as is William Walton’s Symphony number one. Favourite choral piece? “How lovely are thy dwellings” by Brahms, which has one phrase toward the end where an elongated note drops by a single tone and stands the hairs up on the back of my neck every time I hear it. A genius moment. Favourite operatic aria? Isolde’s Liebestod from Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde. Jesse Norman. Breaks your heart. There are hundreds - too many to list. But please, not Phillip Glass 🤦‍♀️.

M0nica Thu 24-May-18 19:29:43

I love classical music and always have done. In the 1960s this extended to pop music but that petered out after I married. I also love steel drum bands, but performing live not recorded.

My favourite composer is Beethoven. I would recommend his piano concertos, early chamber music and some of is shorter piano only pieces; rondos and bagatelles (anybody guess I love piano music?)

DH is an opera fan, watches, sings in and produces. Easy entry into opera. Undoubtedly G&S but then La Traviata (Verdi), La Boheme and Madam Butterfly (Puccini), Tales of Hoffman, Belle Helene and Orpheus in the Underworld (Offenbach). The last two are very, very funny. A send up of Greek mythology.

annodomini Thu 24-May-18 19:31:06

I was brought up listening to classical music as much as possible during the war. I specially liked Beethoven's violin concerto and have retained a love for the genre ever since. When I was about 10, the Scottish National Orchestra played in a local cinema, a rare occurrence. Dad took us to Gibert and Sullivan operettas whenever the D'Oyley Carte company came to Glasgow - I used to read the libretti and can still quote a number of my favourites - just don't expect me to sing them. When I was given a record player for my 21st birthday, the first LP I bought for myself was Beethoven's Archduke Trio - I love chamber music, oratorio and opera too. Just nothing ultra modern which I find tuneless and boring.

hildajenniJ Thu 24-May-18 19:32:17

My love of classical music began with an inspirational music teacher at school. Morning by Edvard Grieg was the piece that got me all fired up. I love choral music, some of my favourites are the Duet from the Pearl Fishers, the Flower Duet from Lakmé by Delibes, anything by Mozart. I love Schubert, and have several pieces I like by lesser known composers.
I love Gilbert and Sullivan also, and wish more of their works were televised. Years ago I saw the Pirates of Penzance performed by an Australian opera company. It's the funniest thing ever, and well worth hunting for.

grannyactivist Thu 24-May-18 20:26:53

Thank you all so much for sharing your favourites, I shall bookmark this page so that I can refer to it as I play my way through some of them.
I like that music, as with all art forms, is so subjective - it would be very dull if we all enjoyed the same things. Unlike Grandma70s I do appreciate some of the works of Rutter and Jenkins. In fact my least favourite hymn, All Things Bright and Beautiful, is transformed into something wonderful by Rutter.

Jalima1108 Thu 24-May-18 20:41:15

I used to listen to so much more when I was young and I should get back into the habit of filling the house with music and/or going to concerts.

MargaretX Thu 24-May-18 22:14:18

I love classical music, my father played the piano well and played everyday and took me to the Halle Orchestra concerts. I always sang in a choir from being 10 years old, but when I came to Germany and sang in a R.C.choir the Masses written by Hydn and Mozart I found it quite wonderful.
My latest past time is listening to the star tenor Jonas Kaufmann from Germany on U-tube. Hes not only got a lovely voice he's very handsome. I'm still not keen on watching a 3 hour Wagner opera though. U- tube is enough for me but I love a full orchestra, but rarely get the chance.

Auntieflo Fri 25-May-18 07:44:22

Thank you all who have contributed to this thread. Grannyactivist, could you please tell me how to bookmark this, so that I can easily return and re-read? I have clicked on Watch this Thread, is that the same thing?

OldMeg Fri 25-May-18 07:55:03

Music! Such an individual thing. I play the piano and sometimes it’s classical, other times anything from pop to film themes to ragtime. All depends on my mood.

Same with the car radio or Alexa. Wherever the mood takes me. We are so very lucky to have access to music at the touch of a button or a voice command these days. 🎵 🎶

Grandma70s Fri 25-May-18 08:20:32

My first LP was either Prokofiev’s Classical Symphony, gorgeous piece, or Highlights from Peter Grimes (Britten). I had been blown away, as they say, by that opera when I saw it at Sadler’s Wells in the early ‘60s. I can’t quite remember which came first.

I brought my children up on the usual fare of Peter and the Wolf and Carnival of the Animals, but they also heard a lot of choral music when I was practising to recordings. I remember my 6-year-old singing bits of
Bach around the house. One child was not very musical, one was but was affected by the pop scene of the 80s. However, now in his early forties he is very keen on classical and especially opera, preferably Wagner. I feel my job is done!

Greyduster Fri 25-May-18 09:18:39

I was at a bit of a loss to find a piece that would provide a “hook” for my GS to the classics. He doesn’t hear any at home. I played bits of The Planets, Peter and the Wolf, In The Hall of the Mountain King, and such like, but the piece that really captured his imagination was a piece by Rhespigi from ‘The Pines and Fountains of Rome’ called the Pines of the Appian Way. It conjures up a ghostly Roman legion returning in triumph with their consul, appearing out of a misty road, the music getting louder until the sun comes up and they all disappear again. It isn’t a long piece, but it certainly worked its magic on him, as it always does on me! My children weren’t particularly hooked on the classics when they were younger, but they have come to love some classical music in their later years. My son now loves choral music. He had never really listened to any before we went to a memorial service and the choir sang Bainton’s ‘And I Saw a New Heaven’. That was him, then, a choral fan, raiding my collection! Now he downloads stuff onto his tech thingies even I haven’t heard. Result!

paddyann Fri 25-May-18 11:34:34

My favourite choral piece is The Nuns Chorus from Casanova ,its a beautiful piece ,I think its Johann Strauss 11....could be wrong though as I tend to get my composers mixed up .
I'm an opera fan with Madame Butterfly and La Boheme being the ones I listen to most