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Best music site for classical music?

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  • Best music site for classical music?

    Which of the two main sites (iTunes or Napster) has a better selection of classical music?

    Thanks!

  • #2
    Your local music store. Think of poor Beethoven starving everytime you dl his 9th Symphony!
    As a lifelong member of the Columbia Business School community, I adhere to the principles of truth, integrity, and respect. I will not lie, cheat, steal, or tolerate those who do.
    "Capitalism ho!"

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    • #3
      Buy the CD man. Downloads are OK, but not worth paying for in the case of Classical music.
      Only feebs vote.

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      • #4
        Naw, this is for my old man, who wants to listen to Mp3's or WMA's while he's exercising.

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        • #5
          What advice would you give someone naive in the ways of Classical music? I know composers, but is there a beginner's guide that suggests good conductors and bands?
          Blog | Civ2 Scenario League | leo.petr at gmail.com

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          • #6
            http://www.allofmp3.com/ seemed to have a good selection when I scanned through it.
            Blog | Civ2 Scenario League | leo.petr at gmail.com

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            • #7
              Originally posted by St Leo
              What advice would you give someone naive in the ways of Classical music? I know composers, but is there a beginner's guide that suggests good conductors and bands?
              I don't think my 73+ year old father is naive about Classical music, but he is naive about MP3's, downloading, and the rest.

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              • #8
                Well, I am naive. Boss me around, dammit.
                Blog | Civ2 Scenario League | leo.petr at gmail.com

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                • #9
                  Naw, this is for my old man, who wants to listen to Mp3's or WMA's while he's exercising.


                  Then you are stuck with Napster. iTunes doesn't sell WMAs.
                  Only feebs vote.

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                  • #10
                    Buy the CD, then rip the CD to mp3. Or rip those CDs he's already got. Lots of great classical music ends up in the bargain bin, particularly in stores that cater to a younger crowd. Their customers aren't looking for classical, so they end up just looking to dump classical CDs to get them off the shelves.

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                    • #11
                      CBS Records/Sony came out with a series of recordings called Great Performances that was pretty good, I have a bunch. If you can't decide I generally went with George Szell as the director if I could find one for the peice I wanted.
                      Monkey!!!

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                      • #12
                        I had a look and iTunes seems to have a pretty good selection.
                        Only feebs vote.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by St Leo
                          What advice would you give someone naive in the ways of Classical music? I know composers, but is there a beginner's guide that suggests good conductors and bands?
                          My child, I could tutor you so much.

                          Lesson one... there are no classical "bands." Orchestras or ensembles.

                          Starting with good conductors is like learning to walk before learning to crawl. Start with isolating the composers/genres that you find most interesting and go from there. Besides, every conductor is great in some things but not so great in others. You'll never get better Beethoven than Furtwangler, but god help you if you get his Mozart.

                          Personally, I think a ground-up approach is best, because you get a real sense of how music evolved over the centuries. So start with some baroque music (or even renaissance if you're adventurous) and go forward. General path for non-operatic music:

                          J.S. Bach - anything he wrote, really. But start with his keyboard music such as the Well-Tempered Clavier, Anna Magdelena and organ pieces. Brandenburg Concertos next, then delve into the sacred works, esp. St. Matthew Passion and the monumental B Minor Mass.

                          Handel - The Messiah is his claim to fame, but select orchestral works are good as well. Esp. Royal Fireworks.

                          Vivaldi - Four Seasons, and really that's all you need bother with.

                          Haydn - select symphonies (he wrote 104). The Toy Symphony, Surprise Symphony and Farewell Symphony are highlights. His string quartets are also spiffy.

                          Mozart - I think you can buy the complete works of Mozart on a set of 122 discs for about $1200. That gives you an idea how big they are. But start with the basics-- Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, Elvira Madigan, Symphonies 39, 40, 41, the Requiem mass, Coronation Mass.

                          Beethoven - The symphonies are the core of his work, and while I think there's no good reason not to have a complete set, if you must be choosy, pick the odds and do 3,5,7 & 9. 8, 6 and 4 after that. 1&2 are good, but just not as special. Other works include Moonlight Sonata, Emperor concerto, select overtures (Egmont, King Stephen), Fur Elise, Pathetique and string quartets. Beware the late string quartets--not for the faint of heart. Missa Solemnis is his best sacred work.

                          Mendelssohn - Midsummer Night's Dream, violin concerto

                          Schubert - Symphonies 8&9, Trout Quintet, and you must try some of his song cycles (Die Wintereisse being the obvious first pick). Stand alone songs: An Die Musik, Die Erlkonig (esp. w/ Elizabeth Schwartzkopf singing it).

                          Chopin - a whole heap of etudes, polonaises and other piano works.

                          Liszt - Hungarian Rhapsodies, Faust Symphony, Totentanz

                          Berlioz - Symphony Fantastique, Requiem (a bit on the bombastic side for my tastes)

                          Schumann - Symphonies 2&4, Carnivale

                          Saint-Sains - Symphony No. 3 ("Organ"), Carnival of the Animals, Danse Macabre

                          Bruckner (dangerous territority) - the huge Te Deum (hehe, or "Tedium") is dense and ponderous, like much of Bruckner. Most of his symphonies should probably be avoided, but there are two gems worth having: No. 4 and No. 8. The latter is probably his greatest work.

                          Brahms - Any of Brahms' chamber works are masterpieces, but solo piano works op. 117, 118, & 119, string quartet no. 1, piano quintet in F minor, clarinet quintet, string sextet. Orchestral works include all four symphonies (nos. 1 & 4 being indispensable), Academic Festival Overture, Tragic Overture (too brittle for some), the Serenades and Variations on a Theme by Haydn (finest orchestral variations ever written). Hungarian Dances are available either solo piano or orchestral. Brahms also wrote a ton of madrigals, all fine, but perhaps his single greatest work is Ein Deutsches Requiem, the lone Protestant requiem mass in the repetoire.

                          Dvorak - Symphony No. 9 "New World," Slavonic Dances

                          Rimsky-Korsakov - Scheherazade, Russian Easter Festival Overture, Capriccio Espanol

                          Mussorgsky - Pictures at an Exhibition (the original piano version and the Ravel orchestration are both worthy), Night on Bald Mountain (the Rimsky orchestration and original version are so different that having both is good). Songs and Dances of Death (esp. sung by Martti Talvela or Boris Christoff).

                          Tchaikovsky - If one must have his works, fine... 1812 Overture is the warhorse, ballets like Serenade and Swan Lake (I loathe the Nutcracker, however). His symphonies aren't proper symphonies, but go ahead and check out Nos. 4 & 6.

                          Grieg - Peer Gynt Suite

                          Elgar - Enigma Variations, Violin Concerto

                          Sibelius - Finlandia, Symphonies 2 & 6

                          Rachmaninov - Piano concerto #2

                          Debussy - Sacred and Profane Dances, La Mer, Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun

                          Ravel - String quartet in F. Bolero is for hacks.

                          Mahler - Not for the faint of heart, but not for the same reason as Bruckner. Mahler's music delves into the deepest of human emotions--it's not light music. Like Beethoven, the symphonies are the core: Nos. 1, 2, 5, 6 and 8 are the greatest, but you can't go wrong with any of them. Beyond that, Das Lied von der Erde and die Kindertotenlieder are mainstays.

                          R. Strauss - Don Juan, Also Sprach Zarathustra, Ein Heldenleben

                          Stravinsky - Rite of Spring, Petrouchka, Firebird.

                          Bartok - Concerto for Orchestra

                          Prokofiev - Romeo & Juliet ballet suite, symphonies 1 & 5, Peter & the Wolf

                          Resphigi - Pines of Rome

                          Copland - Appalachian Spring, Rodeo

                          Vaughan-Williams - Lark Descending, Fantasia/Thomas Tallis, Greensleeves, Symphony No. 4 in F minor (an angry, angry piece).

                          Britten - Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra, Chichester Psalms, War Requiem

                          Barber - Adagio for Strings

                          Holst - The Planets

                          Shostakovich - String quartet no. 8 in C minor, Symphony No. 5

                          That's a smattering of things to start with. There are some one-hit wonders I left out, but such pieces are usually famous enough to find on one's own.

                          Opera is a whole 'nuther category.
                          Last edited by Boris Godunov; February 15, 2005, 17:20.
                          Tutto nel mondo burla

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Japher
                            CBS Records/Sony came out with a series of recordings called Great Performances that was pretty good, I have a bunch. If you can't decide I generally went with George Szell as the director if I could find one for the peice I wanted.
                            Szell headed up the Cleveland Orchestra and transformed it into a world-class ensemble. Still, I don't think his recordings are ideal for all things. In particular, the sound quality is often sub-par. His best recordings are the Brahms symphonies, Dvorak and a few of the Mahler symphonies (esp. No. 4).

                            His Beethoven isn't too impressive, IMO.
                            Tutto nel mondo burla

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                            • #15
                              and a few of the Mahler symphonies (esp. No. 4).


                              I second that. No. 6 is also a fine performance.

                              His Beethoven isn't too impressive, IMO.


                              Fiend!!!

                              I love his Eroica.
                              Only feebs vote.

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