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Thread: The Human Experience

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    Default The Human Experience

    I've been challenged by a friend to show that classical music depicts the entire variety of human experience. The 10 categories I was assigned are:
    ANGER
    PAIN
    FEAR
    LOVE
    JOY
    TRANSCENDENCE
    EVIL
    HATRED
    HOPE
    BEAUTY
    I need to find a track for each, roughly on par with the length of popular music, like 3-6 minutes each. What would you all choose?!
    (It's been interesting for me to think about. I'm noticing I prefer longer compositions that deal with a range of these categories simultaneously. I don't really listen to excerpted tracks focused on a single category.)

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    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
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    It's hard to find music that expresses such simple categories of feeling, which are apt to be artificial even as applied to emotions themselves. The easiest category may be "joy"; I'd suggest the "Gloria" from Bach's B Minor Mass, but there are plenty of other possibilities.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WqXH6Pb2TaA

    For "anger," try Vaughan Williams' 4th Symphony, first movement.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kp7zOd9XoWg
    Last edited by Woodduck; Mar-17-2020 at 19:08.

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    Quote Originally Posted by umbrellockre View Post
    TRANSCENDENCE
    Praise to the Eternity of Jesus - from Olivier Messiaen's Quartet for the End of Time.

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    What I have so far:
    ANGER - Sergei Prokofiev's Tocatta in D Minor
    PAIN - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Don Giovanni: Don Giovanni, a Cenar Teco
    EVIL - Gyorgy Ligeti's Piano Concerto: Lento e deserto
    FEAR - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Requiem: Dies Irae
    HATRED - Henryk Gorecki's Harpsichord Concerto: Allegro Molto
    LOVE - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Le Nozze Di Figaro: Non So Piu Cosa Son
    JOY- Franz Joseph Hayden's Piano Concerto No. 4: Adagio
    TRANSCENDENCE - Giuseppe Verdi's Aida: Nume, custode e vindice
    HOPE - Camille Saint-Saens's Piano Concerto No. 5: Presto
    BEAUTY - Dmitri Schoshatovich's Piano Concerto No. 2: Andante

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    Senior Member SONNET CLV's Avatar
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    Some time back there was a game thread titled "Abstract Noun Game" and how they related to music. An alphabetical list, which I compiled, appears on page 39. It may give you some ideas.

    Abstract Noun Game

    Your specific topics may be on the list. Too, other terms may be synonyms and present further works for consideration.

    Of course, different folks will interpret these nouns differently as they apply to specific pieces of music. Perhaps I'll post my own listing a bit later, after contemplating these for a time. After all, I'm currently bunkered down with little more to do than contemplate. And listen to music, of course.
    Last edited by SONNET CLV; Mar-17-2020 at 19:16.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SONNET CLV View Post
    Some time back there was a game thread titled "Abstract Noun Game" and how they related to music. An alphabetical list, which I compiled, appears on page 39. It may give you some ideas.

    Abstract Noun Game

    Your specific topics may be on the list. Too, other terms may be synonyms and present further works for consideration.

    Of course, different folks will interpret these nouns differently as they apply to specific pieces of music. Perhaps I'll post my own listing a bit later, after contemplating these for a time. After all, I'm currently bunkered down with little more to do than contemplate. And listen to music, of course.
    Covid 19?..................................
    Last edited by janxharris; Mar-17-2020 at 19:17.

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    Senior Member Allegro Con Brio's Avatar
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    This is a great idea, but tough due to the short time limit. The Mass in B Minor is a wonderful recommendation. The other two large works I would suggest are Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier and Chopin's 24 Preludes. For me, they both express virtually every emotion known to man and are truly mind-boggling in artistic scope and perfection. Here's the best I can do for each of your categories, though some slightly exceed the given limit. I tried to include as many classical genres as possible:

    ANGER: Shostakovich - Symphony No. 10, 2nd mvmt
    PAIN: Beethoven - String Quartet No. 14, 1st mvmt (first couple minutes)
    FEAR: Schubert - mostly any song from Winterreise
    LOVE: Wagner - Isolde's Liebestod (from Tristan und Isolde)
    JOY: Brahms - Symphony No. 2, finale (the first and last couple minutes would work)
    TRANSCENDENCE: Mahler - Symphony No. 9, finale (first 6 minutes)
    EVIL: Scriabin - Piano Sonata No. 9 "Black Mass"
    HATRED: ???
    HOPE: Liszt - Sonata in B Minor, last 5 or so minutes
    BEAUTY: Chopin - Barcarolle in F sharp major

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    Quote Originally Posted by umbrellockre View Post
    I've been challenged by a friend to show that classical music depicts the entire variety of human experience. The 10 categories I was assigned are:
    ANGER
    PAIN
    FEAR
    LOVE
    JOY
    TRANSCENDENCE
    EVIL
    HATRED
    HOPE
    BEAUTY
    I need to find a track for each, roughly on par with the length of popular music, like 3-6 minutes each. What would you all choose?!
    (It's been interesting for me to think about. I'm noticing I prefer longer compositions that deal with a range of these categories simultaneously. I don't really listen to excerpted tracks focused on a single category.)

    ANGER - A few days back I listened to Ralph Vaughan Williams's Fourth Symphony, the opening minutes of which seem like angry music to me. So, mark down Vaughn Williams 4th Symphony First Movement.

    PAIN - Don't know if the music should express the composer's sense of pain, or cause pain to the listener. I'm pained by quite a bit of music, especially Philip Glass and Hip-Hop kind of stuff, but I suggest you'll find a sense of pain in Penderecki's Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima. That's music which may well cause the listener's ears some pain as well.

    FEAR - still pondering ...

    LOVE - So many pieces to choose from, but I'm reminded that composer Robert Schumann had a great love for his wife Clara, and he even created a "Clara theme" which he utilized several times, notably in the Drei Romanzen, Opus 28, of which No. 2 in F Sharp Major is a good example.
    Too, Gustav Mahler supposedly wrote the lovely Adagio of his Fifth Symphony inspired by love for his wife.

    JOY - A lot of joyful music out there, too. But what I thought of immediately was the Fourth Movement, Allegro Sanguineo, of Carl Nielsen's Symphony No. 2 - "The Four Temperaments".

    A start ...

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    ANGER: Shostakovich Symphony no. 8 - scherzo
    PAIN: Orff - Carmina Burana, no 12: Olim lacus colueram
    FEAR: Schubert - Der Erlkonig
    LOVE: Khachaturian - Adagio from Spartacus
    JOY: Ketelby - Happy Hampstead from Cockney Suite
    TRANSCENDENCE: Haydn, Seven Last Words of Christ, sonata VII (Into thy hands I commend my spirit)
    EVIL: Rimsky-Korsakov - Night on Mt. Triglav (middle section)
    HATRED: Prokofiev: Romeo & Juliet (Montgues and Capulet)
    HOPE: Sibelius Symphony 2 finale
    BEAUTY: Malcolm Arnold - four Scottish Dances, no. 3 (Allegretto)

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    Hope: Erik Satie - Gymnopedie No. 1
    Beauty: Beethoven: Moonlight Sonata Mvt. 1
    Joy: Mozart: Symphony 1 Mvt. 1

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    ANGER: Prokofiev - Symphony 2, first movement
    PAIN: Beethoven - String Quartet No. 14, Op. 131, beginning
    FEAR: Penderecki - Threnody
    LOVE: Dvorak - Romance for piano and violin, Op.11
    JOY: Brahms - Hungarian Dance No. 5
    TRANSCENDENCE: Liszt - Dante Symphony, III: PARADISO
    EVIL: Scriabin - Black Mass piano sonata
    HATRED: Crumb - Black Angels
    HOPE: Saint-Saëns - Symphony No. 3, last movement
    BEAUTY: Saint-Saens - Le Cygne

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    Quote Originally Posted by umbrellockre View Post
    I've been challenged by a friend to show that classical music depicts the entire variety of human experience. The 10 categories I was assigned are:
    ANGER
    PAIN
    FEAR
    LOVE
    JOY
    TRANSCENDENCE
    EVIL
    HATRED
    HOPE
    BEAUTY
    I need to find a track for each, roughly on par with the length of popular music, like 3-6 minutes each. What would you all choose?!
    (It's been interesting for me to think about. I'm noticing I prefer longer compositions that deal with a range of these categories simultaneously. I don't really listen to excerpted tracks focused on a single category.)

    TRANSCENDENCE is wonderfully displayed in several works, especially Mahler's 10th Symphony, in that wonderful passage which is one of the few he completely orchestrated from the late section of the symphony, a passage I've referred to in other posts as the most beautiful piece of music I know. I hear it as transcendence because it seems to me to be Mahler's very transcendence over his own death sentence. Post #10: The most beautiful thing ever written...`

    A somewhat different kind of transcendence is to be found in Bach's Cantata "Ich habe Genug", but it is transcendence all the same. It's also my favorite of his wonderfully transcendent cantatas. That's BWV 82.



    EVIL - Something from George Crumb's Black Angels String Quartet, maybe that opening movement: "Threnody I: night of the Electric Insects." This is music Freddy Krueger listens to for relaxation.

    HATRED - A tough one, since Art itself is almost antithetical to "hate" itself. Sure, movies and theatre depict hatred and hate-filled characters, but such is usually destroyed by plot's end and replaced with that inherent hopefulness of Art. But you might look towards Samuel Barber's "Medea's Dance of Vengeance" for a depiction of hatred:



    HOPE - Of course, Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" from the Ninth Symphony is hopeful (as well as joyful), but so is the final Allegretto movement (The Shepherd's Hymn) from his Sixth Symphony, or the apotheosis of the dance featured in the final movement of the Seventh Symphony.
    So many examples, actually, as music is a hopeful vehicle, as is all art.

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    Senior Member chu42's Avatar
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    Interesting concept. I'm going to take it a bit further and limit myself to only Schumann's piano music.

    ANGER: Sonata No.3

    FEAR: Sonata No.2 Op.22

    LOVE: Carnaval Op.9 No.12 "Chopin"

    PAIN: Faschingswank aus Wien Op.26 No.4

    JOY: Symphonic Etudes No.12

    TRANSCENDENCE: Fantasie Op.17

    EVIL: Bunte Blatter Op.99

    HOPE: Symphonic Etudes Op.13 Posth. Variation V

    HATRED: Kreisleriana Op.16 No.3

    BEAUTY: Arabeske Op.18
    Last edited by chu42; Mar-17-2020 at 23:18.

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    Quote Originally Posted by janxharris View Post
    Praise to the Eternity of Jesus - from Olivier Messiaen's Quartet for the End of Time.
    Amazing you suggested this one. While I went with the Priestess from Aida on my list, it's this Messiaen or Bach's Ciaccona that make more sense to me. They're both a little long though for my friend. I guess Messiaen nailed it!

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    ANGER - Beginning of Beethoven 5
    PAIN - it's too long, but I would say the middle movement of John Adams "Harmonielehre"
    FEAR -
    LOVE - Brahms 3, third movement
    JOY - Grieg, Wedding Day at Troldhaugen
    TRANSCENDENCE - Nimrod variation from Elgar's Enigma Variations
    EVIL - Messiaen: Apparition de l'Elise Eternelle (played loudly!)
    HATRED - Prokofiev, Romeo and Juliet Suite 2, mvmnt 1 "Montagues and Capulets"
    HOPE - Copland's Fanfare for the Common Man
    BEAUTY - Debussy - Claire de Lune
    Last edited by 20centrfuge; Mar-18-2020 at 04:38.

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