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Thread: New to Classical Need Help

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    Default New to Classical Need Help

    Hello. I am fairly new to classical music and have spent some money on a good home stereo audiophile system. I want to know a good list of reference material to start with. Since i havent much yet, what are some good recordings in high audiophile quality that might contain a lot of "famous" or songs i may have heard due to popularity, being in movies, etc. Since i dont know the titles or composers its a bit tricky. There are several i hear and know the song but no idea who wrote it, or better yet, the best version to get to enjoy it the way it was intended or would sound the best. Be it quality of musician ot quality of recording or perhaps best, both!. Any help getting started would be appreciated.

    I Have access to play SACD, CD and HD and regular media files. Currently no cassette ot LP ability.

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    Senior Member Rogerx's Avatar
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    Hello and welcome see:

    The best classical pieces
    “Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.” ― Mark Twain

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    If I were you, I'd get onto a decent streaming service and do a search on 'classical favourites' (or favorites, as you wish). That will throw up a number of albums & playlists with 25/50/100 classical lollipops. You'll certainly have heard many of these pieces before, and this will allow you to identify them.

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    Senior Member Allerius's Avatar
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    Hi there, welcome to the community!

    The DigitalDreamDoor website contains a variety of listening suggestions that may help you. There you can find a list for "Most Popular Classical Music Works" for example, that I suggest you to listen before you explore further classical music, as it contains some of the most popular (although not necessarily the greatest) pieces of the genre.

    After that, I suggest taking a look at the TC Recommended Lists that more or less shows the average musical preferences of the musical enthusiasts of this community, and to the member Trout's Blog that has a precious amount of recommendations of performances based on suggestions by members over the years. I also encourage you to participate of some games in the proper subforum to discover new composers/works, and to take a look at The Talk Classical Community's Favorite and Most Highly Recommended Works that has been compiled here over the years and contains hundreds of works by a great number of composers for you to explore.

    Johann Sebastian Bach, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Ludwig van Beethoven are by far the three most popular composers of classical music, sometimes even called "the big three" of classical. I suggest you to listen to some of their works via youtube to familiarize with their styles. And since I happen to idolize the latter, try these:



    Last edited by Allerius; May-18-2020 at 07:20.
    “To do good whenever one can, to love liberty above all else, never to deny the truth, even though it be before the throne.” - Ludwig van Beethoven.

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    If I were going to recommend, say, ten things to an aspiring classical aficionado who cares about audio quality, they would be the following:

    Vivaldi, The Four Seasons
    Bach, Brandenburg Concerto 3
    Mozart, Eine Kleine Nachtmusik
    Beethoven, Symphony 5
    Brahms, Symphony 1
    Rossini, William Tell Overture
    Wagner, Tannhauser Overture
    Holst, The Planets
    Sibelius, Symphony 5
    Stravinsky, The Rite of Spring

    This list of compositions would give you a broad mix of period and styles, and be heavy on things you recognize through popular culture osmosis.

    Asking for "the best recordings" is a fraught question on a forum like this. I would just say that there are some record labels and some orchestras that are known for their consistent quality. As far as record labels, anything from DG, Decca, EMI, Sony, and Pentatone can generally be relied upon. For orchestras, anything from the Berliner Philharmoniker, the Vienna Philharmonic, the London Symphony Orchestra (which has a great download store for hi-res music), or the Chicago Symphony Orchestra can be relied upon for excellent audio quality (This list is NOT EXHAUSTIVE and is only a start!).

    Things recorded post 1990 are generally best for hiss-free sound with lots of detail, but this is only a guideline, as you can find many, many great recordings from about 1960 to 1990.

    Since Beethoven 5 is above, here's The Planets:


    And here's Bach's Brandenburg 3:
    Last edited by MatthewWeflen; May-18-2020 at 07:28.

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    We have a main list Allerius mentioned; people are always voting on pieces every day. It's certainly the most well-done list there is:

    The Talk Classical Community’s Favorite and Most Highly Recommended Works

    You might go for a more beginner's introduction, listening to works that sound good from transitioning from other music, so you might check out the recent threads entitled:

    What are the ideal works to introduce someone to classical music?

    Essential classical music for a new listener?
    Last edited by Ethereality; May-18-2020 at 08:24.

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    Hi. I'm new here too. What has been enormously helpful to me is to use the lists linked upthread and look for them in Amazon Music. I've been working through the top ranked symphonies, concerti and ensembles and then using advanced search here to try and find recommended recordings of a specific work, then listen through several recordings of it on Amazon Music. Once I find a recording I like I go ahead and snatch it up. Also, the current listening thread is good to watch as there's a lot of interesting stuff posted in there. Anyway, this is what has been helping me. Best wishes.
    "Snobbery of any flavor...tastes terrible."

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    Don't take anyone else's word for anything. Listen widely and randomly, and go where your interests (defined as the pieces that make your ears perk up) take you.

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    This might sound a bit mad,but i use Solti's version of Verdi's Requiem mainly for the reason the timpani sounds,other versions the timpani just doesn't boom like it does on this,you'll know the part i'm on about,it's been used in countless adverts etc.,i'm like yourself,decent sound equipment but unsure of what i'm actually listening for sometimes

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    Senior Member Allegro Con Brio's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum and to the inexhaustible world of classical music! You have an immensely rewarding lifelong journey ahead of you. Some great starter audiophile recordings:

    Saint-Saens Organ Symphony: Barenboim/CSO
    Holst Planets: Dutoit/Montreal
    Stravinsky Rite of Spring: Bernstein/NY
    Bach Goldberg Variations and Well-Tempered Clavier: Schiff ECM
    Beethoven Symphonies 5 and 7: Carlos Kleiber
    Mozart String Quintets: Talich Quartet
    Vivaldi Four Seasons: Carmignola/Marcon

    These are just a few that I think you could use as launching pads. I wish you well in your listening adventures!
    "If we understood the world, we would realize that there is a logic of harmony underlying its manifold apparent dissonances." - Jean Sibelius

    "Art, like morality, consists of drawing the line somewhere." - G.K. Chesterton

    "Beethoven tells you what it’s like to be Beethoven and Mozart tells you what it’s like to be human. Bach tells you what it’s like to be the universe." - Douglas Adams

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    Default Alan1974

    Hello im new to Classical music in fact it started around the start of the lock-down, in my first few steps i happened upon
    Sergiu Celibidache, first the Omnibus docu them Bruckner's 4th and so on, Ive now got the Munich years on cd i was
    wondering if there are any (im aware of the Bridgett bardot thing) recommended high fidelity recordings on vinyl made by Celibidache?
    Last edited by Alan1974; May-18-2020 at 15:30.

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    Here's what I'd do: get any of these three sets (or all three!). They're relatively cheap, extremely well-performed, well-recorded and have nothing but hallowed chestnuts - warhorses all. And a wide variety of music too. When I started in classical is was several big boxes from Reader's Digest and some from Radio Shack (yes!) that gave me the exposure I was seeking. There are many other boxes like these, but I've been really impressed with these three.
    81TFZQeWMqL._AC_UY218_.jpg715+SwRSRpL._AC_UY218_.jpg
    71tny2rvUgL._SX466_.jpg
    Warning: just don't play Silvestri's account of the Tchaikovsky 4th. How he ever arrived at that bizarre (and wrong) rhythmic reading in the fate motive has bewildered listeners for decades.
    Last edited by mbhaub; May-18-2020 at 17:54.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nortonowner View Post
    Hello. I am fairly new to classical music and have spent some money on a good home stereo audiophile system. I want to know a good list of reference material to start with. Since i havent much yet, what are some good recordings in high audiophile quality that might contain a lot of "famous" or songs i may have heard due to popularity, being in movies, etc. Since i dont know the titles or composers its a bit tricky. There are several i hear and know the song but no idea who wrote it, or better yet, the best version to get to enjoy it the way it was intended or would sound the best. Be it quality of musician ot quality of recording or perhaps best, both!. Any help getting started would be appreciated.

    I Have access to play SACD, CD and HD and regular media files. Currently no cassette ot LP ability.
    What type of classical music do you like to listen to? I have many recommendations for different categories, there’s solo music (for any instrument), orchestral music, chamber music, opera, and many more! Also, what type of characteristics do you look for in music, i.e. loud/soft, fast/slow, long/short, you can find something just for you!

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    Thanks for the speedy help, Im liking orchestral, Bruckner,s 4th is really floating my boat, the second movement is stunning to me Beethovens 7th, as conducted by Celibidache, also chamber Faure requiem i would say soft slow but im open minded

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    Thanks i will check these out

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