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Thread: Favourite classical songs

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    Default Favourite classical songs

    Hello! I'm new here (even though I read the forum before registering and used the recommendations to find new music).

    Here are some of my favourite classical songs:

    1. Oskar Merikanto - Laula tyttö
    https://youtu.be/0P06c_LA104
    2. Jaakko Tokola - Sinua muistan
    https://youtu.be/roNd_LqkaJs
    3. Denys Sičynśkyj - Ne spivajte meni toji pisni
    https://youtu.be/-rxZpa8Q14U
    4. Mykola Lysenko - Ajstry / Asters
    You can find it in the app called UL Classic. There are some recordings on YouTube too, but I don't like them.
    5. Leslie Crabtree - Evening song
    https://youtu.be/ZNaYEfo3b2E
    6. Jean Luc Guyard - Ce que je verrai bientôt pour la première fois
    https://youtu.be/3ocM4YVF2Y8
    7. Gérard Croissant - Mon chant d'aujourd'hui
    https://youtu.be/aFzQF9MOsEY
    8. Gérard Croissant - Vivre d'amour
    https://youtu.be/_zGhkwqtCuU
    9. Galadriel's song of Eldamar - Tolkien wrote the lyrics, don't know the composer
    https://youtu.be/7TU0hE47hS0

    Some of them are sung in a non-classical way, but they're still composed by a classical composer (that's what makes me love them even more, honestly, cause I can clearly hear and understand the lyrics).
    I prefer male singers when it comes to classical singing (or when women don't sing way too high - it makes lyrics less understandable, you cannot hear what they're saying if it's very high).
    I don't like coloratura style.

    I don't listen to opera, because:
    1. I don't speak any of the most common opera languages.
    2. The stories are boring to me.
    3. The lyrics aren't as good.
    I especially dislike the most showy arias. I like when the music comes from the heart, expresses deep emotions. Showiness stands in the way, instead of making you enjoy the beauty and think about the meaning of the song, the impressive songs just draw your attention to the difficulty of singing it. It's as if the singer tells you: "Look at how cool I am!" instead of: "Look at how nice this song is!" I think it's a wrong approach (although your opinion might be different, you may look for something else in music than I do).

    For me the lyrics are as important as the music, I like understanding them and enjoying them. I like lyrics to be meaningful and beautiful. I rarely listen to songs in languages I don't know, especially if the translation is not available. Even if there's a translation, I feel like something is inevitably lost in translation.
    The Finnish songs I posted are exceptions, cause I really like them (and I do understand a little bit of Finnish).
    I'm trying to learn French at the moment, that's why I listen to some French songs.

    If I recall some other songs I'll add them. I don't know many.

    Which songs could you recommend in English, Spanish, Slavic languages or Finnish, Estonian?
    Last edited by Irusia; Oct-20-2021 at 16:48.

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    The 100 or 200 best classical songs are in German, by Schubert, Schumann, Brahms, Mahler, Wolf, Strauss etc. This tradition was so dominant that even a Scandinavian like Grieg wrote some of his songs to German texts.

    Fortunately, many translations of well known classical songs or lieder can be found here:

    https://www.lieder.net/

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    Moderator Art Rock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Irusia View Post
    Which songs could you recommend in English, Spanish, Slavic languages or Finnish, Estonian?
    So German and French songs are not asked for.

    Some English/American songs and song cycles very much worth hearing (imho):

    Warlock - The Curlew
    Britten - Winter Words (also his other songs and cycles)
    Vaughan Williams - On Wenlock edge (also Songs of travel)
    Barber - Knoxville Summer of 1915 (also Dover Beach)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Irusia View Post
    Which songs could you recommend in English, Spanish, Slavic languages or Finnish, Estonian?
    Art Rock hit the high points of English song, I think. I would also add Britten's orchestrated cycles, particularly the Serenade for Tenor, Horn, and Strings, Op. 31.

    For Finnish, there are some superb recordings of Sibelius songs by Jorma Hynninen, Kim Borg, and Tom Krause.

    For Slavic songs, start with Tchaikovsky, but there are plenty of gems by Mussorgsky, Rachmaninov, Glinka, et al.
    Last edited by wkasimer; Oct-26-2021 at 15:51.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Art Rock View Post
    So German and French songs are not asked for.

    Some English/American songs and song cycles very much worth hearing (imho):

    Warlock - The Curlew
    Britten - Winter Words (also his other songs and cycles)
    Vaughan Williams - On Wenlock edge (also Songs of travel)
    Barber - Knoxville Summer of 1915 (also Dover Beach)
    Excellent post! Excellent opening post too.

    I have made a playlist of these recommendations which I am excited to listen to.
    Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.
    Voltaire

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    Senior Member wkasimer's Avatar
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    If you understand Russian, a number of great Soviet era singers sang and recorded German Lieder in Russian. Look for recordings by Pavel Lisitsian, George Ots (who may also have recorded in Estonian), Boris Gmyrya, Mark Reizen, and Georgi Vinogradov. The latter is well served on this set, which is still available rather cheaply:

    vinogradov.jpg

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    Note that many of Sibelius' are usually in sung in Swedish!

    There are three short but worthwhile song cycles by Mussorgsky, "Nursery" (Детская), "Songs and Dances of Death" (Песни и пляски смерти) and "Without sun" (Без солнца). (The last one is unfortunately not well served on recordings.) Another famous one is the Song of the flea (from Faust, also set by Beethoven and in Berlioz' Damnation). The other russian composers also wrote songs and there are some mixed recitals but I don't remember famous ones.

    My favorite English anthology is Terfel's "The vagabond". I also support the Britten recommendation. The other famous English orchestral songs are Elgar's "Sea pictures" but they are rather Victorian.

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    Senior Member wkasimer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kreisler jr View Post
    Note that many of Sibelius' are usually in sung in Swedish!
    True - it was Sibelius' first language - but some of them exist in either Finnish or Swedish (e.g. Illale/Til Kvallen).

    There are three short but worthwhile song cycles by Mussorgsky, "Nursery" (Детская), "Songs and Dances of Death" (Песни и пляски смерти) and "Without sun" (Без солнца). (The last one is unfortunately not well served on recordings.)
    True, although the versions by Leiferkus and Nesterenko are pretty decent. There's also a surprisingly good recording by, of all people, Benjamin Luxon. And isn't there a recording by Boris Gmyrya?

    The other famous English orchestral songs are Elgar's "Sea pictures" but they are rather Victorian.
    But timeless in Janet Baker's hands.

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    Sure on this Shining Night - Four Songs III
    Samuel Barber

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    Songs of Solitude: V. The Second Coming · Thomas Hampson

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    Senior Member Tsaraslondon's Avatar
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    Another thread hijacked on the altar of youtube clips.
    "It's not enough to have a beautiful voice." Maria Callas

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    Agreed, let's not turn this into another "post a YouTube clip everyday" thread.

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    For Spanish songs, I'd recommend Manuel de Falla's song cycle Siete canciones populares españolas, and not much else tbh.

    For Russian songs, definitely the already mentioned cycles by Mussorgsky. Shostakovich (not yet mentioned I think) composed several song cycles that are worthwhile (like the Suite on verses of Michelangelo Bunannoroti and Four verses of Captain Lebyadkin), as well as his 14th symphony, which he could also have defined as a song cycle (and an amazing one as well).

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    chopin songs.jpg


    Wonderful listening.

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    I found another great one:
    Attachment 160690



    Chopin: Czary (Charms), KK.IVa/11
    Chopin: Dumka (Reverie), KK.IVb/9
    Chopin: Dwojaki koniec (The Double End), Op. 74 No. 11
    Chopin: Enchantment, Op. 74 No. 18
    Chopin: Gdzie lubi (What She Likes), Op. 74 No. 5
    Chopin: Hulanka (Merrymaking), Op. 74 No. 4
    Chopin: Melodia (Melody), Op. 74 No. 9
    Chopin: Moja pieszczotka (My Sweetheart), Op. 74 No. 12
    Chopin: Narzeczony (The Bridegroom), Op. 74 No. 15
    Chopin: Nie ma czego trzeba (I Want What I Have Not), Op. 74 No. 13
    Chopin: Pierscien (The Ring), Op. 74 No. 14
    Chopin: Piosnka litewska (Lithuanian Song), Op. 74 No. 16
    Chopin: Posel (The Messenger), Op. 74 No. 7
    Chopin: Precz z moich oczu (Out of My Sight!), op. 74 No. 6
    Chopin: Reverie, Op. 74 No. 19
    Chopin: Sliczny chlopiec (Handsome Lad), Op. 74 No. 8
    Chopin: Smutna rzeka (The Sad River), Op. 74 No. 3
    Chopin: Spiew z mogilky (Leaves Are Falling), Op. 74 No. 17
    Chopin: Wiosna (Spring), Op. 74 No. 2
    Chopin: Wojak (The Warrior), Op. 74 No. 10
    Chopin: Zyczenie (The Maiden's Wish), Op. 74 No. 1

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