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Thread: We are all adventerous listeners

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    Default We are all adventerous listeners

    I am very spoiled. I go to a music school where I can be around tons of people who listen to all sorts of things. I belong to this forum where I can be around many people who listen to all sorts of things. I am around this sort of people so much that I forget sometimes how closed minded everyone else can be about music.

    For example, my room mate (who is not in the music department, but the drama department) only listens to rap. But not only does he just listen to rap. He pretty much only listens to rap that came out of Oakland, California from the g-funk era. That is a pretty narrow interest.

    I'm not saying this is wrong, but I am trying to put things into perspective. Sometimes if I see a new member on here that, let's say, only listens to Baroque and Classical era music. Ok, for here that seems pretty narrow and I might think he needs to spread his or her wings a little more. But I would say, compared to most people in the world, that is pretty adventurous listening.

    So by that logic, I think everyone on this forum (even if they have an era or two of classical music that they avoid) is an adventurous listener! At least according to the scale set by the rest of the world.

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    I am very spoiled by torrents.

    When the cost of listening to a new piece is almost zero, you can be very adventurous, and have wild, intrepid forays into the deep, like, for example, listen to pretty much every Gotterdammerung ever recorded, or compare 16 different versions of the Well Tempered Clavier, or tackle a single piece with 10 tries with 10 different records until you've found "the right one" or "the one that works for you".

    In the past only someone comparatively rich could have had my freedom, or someone who works at a great orchestra.


    So by that logic, I think everyone on this forum (even if they have an era or two of classical music that they avoid) is an adventurous listener! At least according to the scale set by the rest of the world.

    The thinking ingrained in this sentence is, for the lack of a better word, dangerous, because it implies some absolute hierarchy of rank between our intrepidity and their intrepidity. Now, of course our intrepidity is obviously greater, then by analogy a similar, murkier and not as precise or obvious but still nonetheless feasible, hierarchy of rank could be set up between this community, and even between a single individual at different stages of his or her life. The problem is that if you follow this dangerous logic to its end, one day you'll encounter a scenario where you're on the other side of the divided line, and no one wants that. And when that happens, double standards happen.

    Andre Rieu

    ^^Your argument is full of holes and speaks to elitism and snobbism. That's all I'll say, I've made my points earlier. Herbert von Karajan joined the Nazi party TWICE - the Austrian version, then the German one when they invaded his native Austria - he was far closer to Hitler and Mussolini than Andre Rieu. Rieu's interpretations of light music have never failed to please and engage me, unlike some of von Karajan's work which is basically old hat, a number of his interpretations of c20th repertoire especially sounds outdated and overly romanticised, even guys of the older generation like Toscanini and Walter had a more modern approach. But forget it. I can't talk sense here. Some people are full of ***** and have double standards.

    Of course, von Karajan had his strong points, I like some of his work, but saying all of what Rieu does is of negligible quality is the same as tarring von Karajan with the similar brush, and you don't do that do you, all of you, you idolise this guy, what was REALLY a Nazi, but let's not go into that, he was more of an opportunist than anything, he'd join any party to further and maintain his career...His beautiful Berlin Philharmonic hall was funded by the Americans as a kind of sweetener to that city, the orchestra playing in it was promoted as the best in the world for various political reasons to do with the Cold War...that's it...just think people...Rant over and out...


    Andre Rieu

    Another thing is people's double standards. Two years ago when I joined this forum, people were throwing mudballs at composers who make a buck and are very popular, eg. Philip Glass and Arvo Part. The fact is, classical music is a business like any other form of music.

    ^^ Or more likely, we need to have some people GROW A BRAIN and ADMIT THEIR OBVIOUS BIAS, HYPOCRISY & DOUBLE STANDARDS.

    When a piece of music judges you...

    Rieu is basically a decent man. He's set up a charity over 20 years ago to combat desertification in the stricken Sahel region of West AFrica. He's done many things like this that people don't know about. Unlike some "great" musicians who were clearly douchebags on the personal front, he's not about ME ME ME. I won't name names, but I think you know what I'm saying, in any case the reputation of sacred cows are involved.Well I don't give a damn about sacred cows. I just listen to music, that's it. & if I like what Rieu does and I dislike what a "great" musician or composer does, so be it. I just go by what I like, not rubbish ideology or double standards...

    When a piece of music judges you...

    ^^I think that's a good poem, science. It sums up what I think basically. There are double standards here as anywhere else, maybe "that's life," but at the same time I don't put up with people who -

    The OP reminds me of a story of a visitor to an art gallery full of works of unquestioned genius. At the end of the tour, the visitor said, "I don't think much of your old pictures." The attendant answered quietly, "Sir, I would remind you that these pictures are no longer on trial, but those who look at them are."


    When a piece of music judges you...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Analogy...e_divided_line

    All the people sneering at Andre Rieu, etc, yes, they're hypocrites. So are the Lady Gaga fans making fun of Rebecca Black. Of course, in no way are they identical, the former are of course, light years ahead of the latter, but the internal logic is but the same.

    I have never sneered at Andrei Rieu, or spoken of him in a condescending manner.

    There are more double standards. Look at this.

    Classical Excuses

    I don't like bubblegum pop.

    BUBBLEGUM? The careless throwing-around of this adjective is hypocritical.

    Simplicity and Complexity

    Popular music only explores one possibility, the possibility that the general popuation will empty their pockets to eagerly consume the latest generic ditty. The sad thing is that they do.

    True but this doesn't apply to all popular musicians, e.g., jazz.
    If you are talking about Bubblegum-Pop and the genreic wannabe Hip-hop, I agree


    THIS

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tAp9BKosZXs&ob=av3e

    is NOT THE IDENTICAL

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bESGLojNYSo&ob=av3n

    When I use the word "identical", I mean it in a disparaging sense. These two songs are "the same", but not "identical", in the same way that Wagner's operas are, for the most part, "the same".

    I've listened to these two above songs hundreds of times. No shame. I can't prove this, but if you demand that I explain exactly why I like these two songs, I can explain it on a granular level.
    Last edited by brianwalker; Feb-19-2012 at 23:19.

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    Quote Originally Posted by brianwalker View Post
    I am very spoiled by torrents.

    When the cost of listening to a new piece is almost zero, you can be very adventurous, and have wild, intrepid forays into the deep, like, for example, listen to pretty much every Gotterdammerung ever recorded, or compare 16 different versions of the Well Tempered Clavier, or tackle a single piece with 10 tries with 10 different records until you've found "the right one" or "the one that works for you".

    In the past only someone comparatively rich could have had my freedom, or someone who works at a great orchestra.
    Yes true! But I am talking about nowadays anyway.

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    Quote Originally Posted by brianwalker View Post
    I am very spoiled by torrents.

    When the cost of listening to a new piece is almost zero, you can be very adventurous, and have wild, intrepid forays into the deep, like, for example, listen to pretty much every Gotterdammerung ever recorded, or compare 16 different versions of the Well Tempered Clavier, or tackle a single piece with 10 tries with 10 different records until you've found "the right one" or "the one that works for you".

    In the past only someone comparatively rich could have had my freedom, or someone who works at a great orchestra.


    So by that logic, I think everyone on this forum (even if they have an era or two of classical music that they avoid) is an adventurous listener! At least according to the scale set by the rest of the world.

    The thinking ingrained in this sentence is, for the lack of a better word, dangerous, because it implies some absolute hierarchy of rank between our intrepidity and their intrepidity. Now, of course our intrepidity is obviously greater, then by analogy a similar, murkier and not as precise or obvious but still nonetheless feasible, hierarchy of rank could be set up between this community, and even between a single individual at different stages of his or her life. The problem is that if you follow this dangerous logic to its end, one day you'll encounter a scenario where you're on the other side of the divided line, and no one wants that. And when that happens, double standards happen.

    Andre Rieu

    ^^Your argument is full of holes and speaks to elitism and snobbism. That's all I'll say, I've made my points earlier. Herbert von Karajan joined the Nazi party TWICE - the Austrian version, then the German one when they invaded his native Austria - he was far closer to Hitler and Mussolini than Andre Rieu. Rieu's interpretations of light music have never failed to please and engage me, unlike some of von Karajan's work which is basically old hat, a number of his interpretations of c20th repertoire especially sounds outdated and overly romanticised, even guys of the older generation like Toscanini and Walter had a more modern approach. But forget it. I can't talk sense here. Some people are full of ***** and have double standards.

    Of course, von Karajan had his strong points, I like some of his work, but saying all of what Rieu does is of negligible quality is the same as tarring von Karajan with the similar brush, and you don't do that do you, all of you, you idolise this guy, what was REALLY a Nazi, but let's not go into that, he was more of an opportunist than anything, he'd join any party to further and maintain his career...His beautiful Berlin Philharmonic hall was funded by the Americans as a kind of sweetener to that city, the orchestra playing in it was promoted as the best in the world for various political reasons to do with the Cold War...that's it...just think people...Rant over and out...


    Andre Rieu

    Another thing is people's double standards. Two years ago when I joined this forum, people were throwing mudballs at composers who make a buck and are very popular, eg. Philip Glass and Arvo Part. The fact is, classical music is a business like any other form of music.

    ^^ Or more likely, we need to have some people GROW A BRAIN and ADMIT THEIR OBVIOUS BIAS, HYPOCRISY & DOUBLE STANDARDS.

    Rieu is basically a decent man. He's set up a charity over 20 years ago to combat desertification in the stricken Sahel region of West AFrica. He's done many things like this that people don't know about. Unlike some "great" musicians who were clearly douchebags on the personal front, he's not about ME ME ME. I won't name names, but I think you know what I'm saying, in any case the reputation of sacred cows are involved.When a piece of music judges you... Well I don't give a damn about sacred cows. I just listen to music, that's it. & if I like what Rieu does and I dislike what a "great" musician or composer does, so be it. I just go by what I like, not rubbish ideology or double standards...

    When a piece of music judges you...

    ^^I think that's a good poem, science. It sums up what I think basically. There are double standards here as anywhere else, maybe "that's life," but at the same time I don't put up with people who -

    The OP reminds me of a story of a visitor to an art gallery full of works of unquestioned genius. At the end of the tour, the visitor said, "I don't think much of your old pictures." The attendant answered quietly, "Sir, I would remind you that these pictures are no longer on trial, but those who look at them are."


    When a piece of music judges you...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Analogy...e_divided_line
    WOW! some people on this forum take what I say WAAAYYY too seriously...really, I was just in a good mood and wanted to think of a good way to congratulate everyone here for being awesome. But now I'm in a bad mood. So I take what I said in the OP back.

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    I used to like Brian Walker's post, then I took a why to the so serious.

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    Seriousness is the last refuge of the shallow.

    On the contrary, I don't take these posts as seriously as most people take them. They're presented seriously in tone, but I do it for fun.

    They're just arguments, that's all.

    I know some of you might imagine a furious person yelling at the screen, making all sorts of contorted facial expressions, smashing his table, etc etc. Imagine what you want.

    What I'm interested in is why people react to them so seriously? Why not argue for fun?

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    Quote Originally Posted by brianwalker View Post
    On the contrary, I don't take these posts as seriously as most people take them. They're presented seriously in tone, but I do it for fun.

    They're just arguments, that's all.

    I know some of you might imagine a furious person yelling at the screen, making all sorts of contorted facial expressions, smashing his table, etc etc. Imagine what you want.

    What I'm interested in is why people react to them so seriously? Why not argue for fun?
    Yay for this comment! You know, Mr. BW, I think I may have been slightly too quick to judge you in your time here. Naughty pig.

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    Its nice to think of oneself as an adventurous listener. Then you can be a guru and cater to other people's tastes, find out what they like and help them grow. If you like just one thing, you'll feel like you have to defend your position all the time, and that gets tiresome. As art music fans, I think we experience a defensiveness from the general public, but all the same, if we are adventurous within our genre of choice, we can be very helpful to the large enough population that is interested but doesn't know as much. If we ever feel tired of it, we can be more adventurous and cross genres. For now I'm content.

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    Quote Originally Posted by violadude View Post
    ...
    I'm not saying this is wrong, but I am trying to put things into perspective. Sometimes if I see a new member on here that, let's say, only listens to Baroque and Classical era music. Ok, for here that seems pretty narrow and I might think he needs to spread his or her wings a little more. But I would say, compared to most people in the world, that is pretty adventurous listening.

    So by that logic, I think everyone on this forum (even if they have an era or two of classical music that they avoid) is an adventurous listener! At least according to the scale set by the rest of the world.
    I agree, the members of this forum generally speaking are quite knowledgeable about and have experience with a wide variety of classical music (& non-classical too, in many cases).

    I mean some acquaintances of mine, who have been into classical for decades (some all their life), don't know much classical beyond what was going on with the generation that died around the 1970's (eg. Shostakovich, Britten). Some of them would have heard live Australian premieres of these guys works. It does not invalidate their experience, but what I'm saying is that on this forum I can have a more in-depth discussion of many musics coming after 1900, some names that my acquaintances on the ground here don't know or don't know well. Eg. not many know the Brits beyond say Vaughan Williams, Holst, Britten, Elgar, etc. Composers like Bliss, Bax, Tippett, Rawsthorne are basically not known on the ground here. Maybe for various reasons, eg. their music is rarely if ever performed live, and not often on radio. & this applies to all eras, not only the moderns. So what you are saying violadude does correlate with my experience, even with the most experienced of listeners. Musicians are another ball game though, they tend to know more, but it depends what (eg. what they have played throughout their career, what's their passion, what's their instrument, etc.).

    ON the flip side, in my "reality," Wagner is not as much loved as on this forum. I'm not commenting on that, just saying my experience. J.S. BAch has near universal love, so do guys like the other two B's, Mozart, Handel, etc., but often I hear people here say they don't like Wagner (eg. "too heavy," etc.). That's coming from me, as objective as I can be, my parents quite liked Wagner's music but it never rubbed off on me, but that's another story entirely...
    Last edited by Sid James; Feb-20-2012 at 03:38.

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    I'm not commenting on that, just saying my experience. J.S. BAch has near universal love, so do guys like the other two B's, Mozart, Handel, etc.,

    I think it's because they had greater scope. Beethoven wrote many works in many genres, many of them masterpieces. People who might not like the late sonatas or the late quartets might love the middle sonatas, etc. There's something for everyone. I love the Pastoral symphony, for example. Same with Brahms. If you find his symphonies too weighty, he has transparent chamber music, the Clarinet Sonata, etc, is lovely and tempered. Same for Mozart and Bach. There's something for everyone.

    Beethoven also wrote for solo instruments/duo instruments, so many of the people who play his music will have a longer time to digest the music and understand all of its intricacies. You need repeated listens. You can't do that with Wagner.

    From Birgit Nilsson's memoirs.

    "I don't believe that Knappertsbusch had any rehearsal with the orchestra. He was known for not liking to rehearse, but when he stood on the podium, over six feet of genius in suspenders, the musicians were in heaven"

    "An orchestra member said after a performance of Gotterdammerung:"You sit here all year long, battling the impossible phrases, cursing Wagner, who can't write anything playable for one's instrument. In the end, you're resigned to playng only what is absolutely necessary. And then comes a sorcerer who handles it all just by breathing easier. Nothing special, but suddenly every note can be played."

    "Ten years later, after a premier of Gotterdammerung with Karajan in Vienna, I met the famous concertmaster of the Vienna Philharmonic, Willi Boskosky. He said it was really was impossible to play all the notes in that Wagner had set down. Silently I asked myself whether the sorcerer Knappertsbusch could have cut the Gordian Knot in Vienna"


    If Beethoven had not written sonatas 8, 17, 21, 23, 26, the Violin Sonatas, symphonies 2, 5, 7, and 9, fur elise, piano trios, etc, piano concertso, etc, my estimation would scarcely change, maybe from no. 3 to 4 or 5 on my personal rankings, but he would not have the reputation he has today.

    Wagner's operas in recordings are expensive, time consuming, and have a high opportunity cost. For example, if you like Solti's style and you don't like Karajan's style (this includes lots of people) AND you demand high quality stereo sound AND a great, smooth orchestra, you simply don't have any choices.

    I think this is the reason that Mahler took so long to catch on. First impressions are very important, and with Wagner, it's either utterly fantastic or absolutely terrible, most of the time.

    Can you think of a particular concert that opened your eyes to Mahler’s music?

    Barenboim: No, rather the opposite. I remember many concerts that made me dislike it even more, because I found, in the Mahler concerts I had heard, two extremes. One was sort of exaggeratedly emotional, in the sense that the text was used as an excuse for self-expression on the part of the conductor, sometimes at a very high level. Others withdrew from any kind of emotional content, making it rather dry.

    I was ‘allergic’ to what I found at that time to be artificialities in the music.

    I also disliked – I’m being very negative on purpose – the fact that Mahler was, and still is, the only composer who is discussed mostly in non-musical terms. Whenever somebody says, “I don’t like Mahler”, or “I love Mahler”, of course, it’s psychoanalysis – Sigmund Freud and all these things. And I think this is terrible. You would never think or talk about Beethoven like that, about the deafness or whatever else it may be, or about Chopin’s tuberculosis. In other words, the biography of the composer, and the musical diary which he writes – all great composers’ works are musical diaries – are not really related. Beethoven wrote some of the most positive music at a time of complete distress, and vice versa.

    So, I think I had an aversion to all of these aspects, and especially the artificiality of them.

    What eventually drew you to Mahler?

    Barenboim: Little by little – even when I thought I didn’t like it – I became interested in so many details about the orchestration, the use of the dynamics. Mahler was probably the first composer who consciously, and permanently, wrote individual dynamics for the instrument.
    Last edited by brianwalker; Feb-20-2012 at 00:14.

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    Some of the less musically adventurous people simply don't care about music, or their passions lie elsewhere. Which is fine with me, as long as they don't pretend to know anything about it.
    People who hide are afraid!

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    I only listen to Wagner.

    I think adventurous wide-variety listening is overrated. It's the equivalent of being a musical slag afraid of making a commitment. I hope you all someday find "the one" to end your perpetual string of meaningless one-night stands with composers. In the meantime, use protection.

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    Sid James said - I'm not commenting on that, just saying my experience. J.S. BAch has near universal love, so do guys like the other two B's, Mozart, Handel, etc.,

    Quote Originally Posted by brianwalker View Post

    ...
    I think it's because they had greater scope. Beethoven wrote many works in many genres, many of them masterpieces. People who might not like the late sonatas or the late quartets might love the middle sonatas, etc. There's something for everyone. I love the Pastoral symphony, for example. Same with Brahms. If you find his symphonies too weighty, he has transparent chamber music, the Clarinet Sonata, etc, is lovely and tempered. Same for Mozart and Bach. There's something for everyone.

    ...
    I agree it may be that Wagner only did/excelled in opera, so many listeners would not listen to him as a result, the majority of classical listeners liking a variety of things, not only opera.

    In THIS thread I argued that in pop/rock, most prefer music with vocals, in classical, most prefer instrumental.

    I would add that Wagner is not typical of opera of his time. He has more in common with his successors, like R. Strauss and Berg. Wagner is a thing unto himself, the only comparable composer I can think of is Beethoven, straddling both the Classical and Romantic eras, he made his own era.

    The thing is that Wagner, due to not being typical & probably other reasons, is much more of a cult than other composers. Hence this kind of comment -

    Quote Originally Posted by Couchie View Post
    I only listen to Wagner.

    I think adventurous wide-variety listening is overrated. It's the equivalent of being a musical slag afraid of making a commitment. I hope you all someday find "the one" to end your perpetual string of meaningless one-night stands with composers. In the meantime, use protection.
    Which is typical of many Wagnerites I come across on these forums. But I'm only member of this forum now, part of the reason as the Wagnerites here tend to be less extreme. I think Couchie here, you are half joking, right? Suggesting if a listener likes variety as being limited - turning around violadude's comments into a false dichotomy (surprise surprise) - is like saying someone who exclusively eats German food is more committed to eating than someone who eats a variety of foods, national and otherwise.

    It might be your way but it ain't mine, and it's not basically all of people I've come across into the classical realm (but no, I've not gone to Bayreuth, I'd imagine most of them congregate in these types of shrines, so if you lived there, your theory posited here would be a kind of reality - but Bayreuth is not the world at large, again it's an atypical thing in classical music).

    So there, on with the motley, as pagliaccio said...
    Last edited by Sid James; Feb-20-2012 at 04:08.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Couchie View Post
    I only listen to Wagner.

    I think adventurous wide-variety listening is overrated. It's the equivalent of being a musical slag afraid of making a commitment. I hope you all someday find "the one" to end your perpetual string of meaningless one-night stands with composers. In the meantime, use protection.
    Couchie, if you ever break up with Wagner you'll be so lonely that you might commit suicide!

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    @ Violadude, Please don't take back anything you said.
    Whatever floats your boat

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