Classical Squirrel

on Friday, August 17, 2007

About two weeks ago, many of you were kind enough to take part in a poll to determine your collective opinion on which music genre I needed to expose myself more to. Thank you. Your collective wisdom suggested "Rock" (40%) and "Classical" (33%).

Today, I'd like to respond to the suggestion of "classical" music, leaving a discussion on "Rock" music for another time.

I actually agree with you that I am lacking in exposure to classical music. It did not catch on with me easily as I had little interest in listening to songs in Latin or Operas in Italian which I did not understand. Plus they are rather long and sometimes quite repetitive.

However, I am not a total Philistine. Over the years, I have come to love some classical music. The very first classical piece that actually make me sit up, quieten down and listen was Dvorak's New World Symphony. Dvorak wrote this piece taking elements that he had heard and drawing from his experiences in visiting America. I read somewhere that this peaceful and tender melody is suppose to represent the tears of Hiawatha.

My all time favorite classical piece though is Holst's Jupiter the Bringer of Jollity from "The Planets" suite. I enjoy the entire suite but Jupiter stands out.

I offer for you presentations of the two pieces. I welcome your advice on how to widen my appreciation of the genre.

Dvorak's New World Symphony, 2nd Movement (Part1) by the Dublin Philharmonic


Holst's Jupiter the Bringer of Jollity


This version of Holst's Jupiter is also worth looking at. There's beautiful ice skating choreography set to the music.

21 comments:

riseoutofme said...

Love both of these music pieces! The ice-skating was wonderful to watch ... exhausting!

What a great blog you have lgs ... such variety! I love visiting .. never know what I'm going to find!

Open Grove Claudia said...

I spent my childhood drowning in classical music and opera. I can't stand the stuff. And yet, sometimes I'll find myself whistling something classical. Then I catch myself.

Music. It's amazing and important, isn't it?

Janice Thomson said...

You have chosen 2 dynamically different pieces Lgs as a start to your interest in classical. May I suggest a few Tchaikovsky (somewhat similar to Holst)and a few pieces by Grieg - as in the Peer Gynt Suites (somewhat similar to Dvoraks New World).

Operas and operettas are heavy stuff and I can see why one could lose interest though you might want to try Gorecki's Symphony of Sorrowful Songs - especially the one where Dawn Upshaw is the singer. This is not an opera but it will introduce you to one of the finest and purest voices. It is a touch on the dark(melancholic)side too.

Otherwise my suggestion is to simply listen to more and more classical till it becomes something you really want to listen to...exposure really does work.
Thanks for todays post...it was wonderful to hear those two pieces.

leslie said...

http://www.kmozart.com/index.asp
Listen to my friend Laura. She does a great mix of things familiar, whether you are aware that you are familiar or not.
And, Rock on!

Jay said...

This is really cool hun, thanks for sharing.

...Kat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lone Grey Squirrel said...

riseoutofme,
Variety is the spice of life. Thanks. I do try to mix it up here.

claudia,
Eeek. I'm glad that I wasn't drowned in classical music and opera like you were. I'm sure I'd develop an adversion too. Funnily, of late I have actually begun to enjoy some Opera but mainly because of the beauty of the singer's voice cause i still can't understand the words but sometimes it is enough to understand the emotion.

janice,
as usual, thank you for your excellent advice. I recognise the names that you mention but it hits no musical recall in my brain. I shall endeavour to listen to them ....might buy a classical CD (won't that be a historical moment!)

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

leslie,
thanks for leading me to Kmozart. I've been listening to it for the last hour as I blogged. I really liked it at first! Next thing I knew, I woke up. Yup, it was so soothing that I dozed off at the keyboard. It's a great place for wide exposure so you can bet that I'll be tuned in everytime I am blogging. Thanks again.

jay,
you're welcome. Hope all is well with you.

kat,
Thanks for the happy update. Thumbs up! (do squirrels have thumbs?) Hmmmmmm.

eastcoastdweller said...

Bach and Vivaldi wrote some of the most beautiful music ever to be heard. Bach's Air on G string (no, it's not about skimpy bathing suits) gives me goosebumps. Vivaldi's Four Seasons are excellent, too.

And I love Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata. Good for listening to while you nibble a nut on some cool, starry evening from your tree-top hidey hole.

Josie said...

LGS, I absolutely love Dvorak’s New World Symphony. Did you know it was meant to represent the United States? And doesn’t it “feel” American?

You know, if you want to learn about classical music, you can't go wrong with the "big three" Beethoven, Mozart and Haydn. Their music is really lovely. My favorite, in fact.

Janice is right, opera and operetta is an acquired taste.

Claire said...

I definitely liked Jupiter the best and the ice dancing too. Classical is best administered in small measured doses. Those ice dancers are amazing!

geewits said...

Unlike my husband, I can't name a lot of classical pieces, although sometimes I can tell the composer. Because I am ballet-brained, I've never really been able to just appreciate the music - I always choreograph ballets in my head.

Most people do not realize how much exposure to classical music they got through the Bugs Bunny cartoons, but I still sing "Kill da Wabbit" when I hear that Wagner piece.

I have Vivaldi's "Spring" from his "Four Seasons" as the ringtone on my house phone and have missed several calls, because I want to hear the end.

Being a ballet buff, I guess I will have to go with Tchaikovsky as my favorite, with a nod to Grieg (thanks Janice Thomson) because I also saw the ballet Peer Gynt and it was great.

HeiressChild said...

hi LGS, love both of these pieces. i like classical music too; it's so soothing and relaxing. when my oldest granddaughter was a baby, her dad would play classical music for all of the time. it kept her really calm and peaceful.

Cheryl said...

I'm so lacking in classical music appreciation. Still, I watched the videos and loved what I heard.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

ecd,
Thanks for the tip. Funny though, I don't associate Bach's Air on G String with skimpy bathing suits but with Hamlet cigar commercials.
If you haven't seen these, it involves someone discovering a bad situation like Christopher Columbus discovering that the world is in fact flat and his ship is about to go over the edge, then cue peaceful music and a Hamlet cigar for relaxation!

josie,
Thanks for the suggestions. Beethoven doesn't grab me. Mozart is okay... I could listen to him more and I hardly know anything about Hadyn so I'll try him out. :)

Claire,
Baby steps into the world of classical music!

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

geewits,
I too can sing "Kill the Wabbit". hAHAHA! As for Vivaldi's 4 seasons, you're not the only one to suggest it. I actually have a tape of it and have listened to it but the fact i can't remember the songs says something.

sylvia,
Classical music is a neglected part of my education. It is good to go to sleep to but that's kinda embarassing at a concert.

cheryl,
we could learn together. Let's both try some classical music in the next month and make recommendations to each other. Hmm?

Le NightOwl said...

Hello EGS (that's LGS the French way, as everyone knows :)

I am among those who selected classical in your poll :)

I am partial to classical music myself, and I warmly recommend 2 films which are wonderful tributes to great composers:

- Mozart, with Amadeus by Milos Forman,

- and Bizet, with Carmen by Francesco Rosi.

There are many more, but those two immediately come to mind, so I guess they have left a lasting impact in me :)

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

le nightowl,
I have to admit that I yawned and dozed off during "Amadeus". But I admit that I was already prejudiced against the film as I "expected" it to be boring. I shall try it again with more objective eyes and ears. I did spend a lot of time at the Mozart Museum in Salzburg, though.

Le NightOwl said...

Well, you can't say I didn't try to convince you :)

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

le NightOwl,
I forgot to say that I quite like Carmen ...at least from what little I have heard.

Le NightOwl said...

Ah, I feel a bit better now :)

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