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Thread: Greetings from yet another Norwegian

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    Default Greetings from yet another Norwegian

    Just posting to say hello to everyone. Recently became interested in classical music. I used to go to a different, less used forum, but it seemed as though my beginner questions caused more pain than pleasure to those who dwelled there. So I picked up my bags and moved out, and here I am.

    On the whole it definatly seems like this place has a much more friendly comunity. Hope to get to know you all soon

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    Senior Member Hexameron's Avatar
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    Welcome alehel. I'm not sure what kind of "beginner questions" you were asking, but don't forget internet sources like wikipedia. You can find the answers to your questions much faster that way and you don't have to wait for people here to reply.

    Anyway, what are your favorite composers, pieces, music period(s) so far in your listening experience?

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    I was asking questions about what kind of music people recommended for this and that, and they basicly told me to go and find out for myself. The forum wasn't very active though. They had like 10 registered members and around 2 or 3 of them were active. Also the site design was just terrible. Pink backgrounds for gods sake. Don't know why I didn't come here strait away.

    [EDIT] Maybe I just lost the link, but it looks like the forums gone. I guess there just wasn't any interest for it.

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    alehel

    Some beginners ask perfectly valid questions about the basics of classical music but the point is that it's often easier and better to consult a good on-line source like wikipedia.com This is very user-friendly and goes from very simple to quite involved, and you can stop when you like. To ask someone here is fine but you can't guarantee getting an answer, or an accurate one, because often people get fed up trotting out the same old stuff which to them is old hat and boring.

    Places like this are best if you have a reasonable knowledge (not necessarily very much) and want to get further advice. E.g. if you can say you like solo piano but only know, say, Beethoven, you will find people much happier in responding to a request for other recommendations, rather than just asking "I'm new what should I buy". How do we know, unless you give more clues about your tastes and experience so far?

    What are your interests?


    Topaz
    Last edited by Topaz; Dec-01-2006 at 16:06.

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    I'm perfectly fine with using wikipedia for looking things up. I've no problem with that.

    To give one example, I'm learning to use Dreamweaver at college which is a tool for making websites. So to practice I made a small website about Henry Purcell. I then put in a post asking if people might be interested to take a look and comment. Now I posted this in the "Of Topic" section as I didn't really think it fitted into the classical music discussion as it was really more related to the design rather than the content. I then got a pm from a guy telling me that I shouldn't be using the forum for advertising purposes. He even found time to mention the fact that he didn't much care for the design.

    I prefear listening to Beethoven, but I also enjoy Henry Purcell and Benjamin Brittain. So far I've bought all my classical music from Naxos, as it's much cheaper than anything else and the quality is just as good, as far as I can tell. The only thing I'm dissapointed about is the fact that there is such a small selection of classical music in most stores. I was in a record store a few days ago which had two floors packed with music, but the classical shelf was barely two meeters wide.

    I remember I was in borders once not far from Newcastle. They have a great selection, and if you're every anywhere near one I recommend it. Around 40% of their records where classical.

    I also find it a bit irritating that Naxos insists on having theirs seperate from the rest as it means I have to look in two places to see what they have of Purcell, Mozart, etc.

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    Senior Member Hexameron's Avatar
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    alehel - I'm also a Naxos enthusiast, but I never buy CD's from physical stores. Amazon.com usually has some deals with Naxos where you can buy 4 Naxos CD's for the price of 3.

    Another good thing about buying Naxos from Amazon is that Naxos' CD's used to be priced $6.98 retail, (now it's $8.99) and some used sellers are still trying to sell their CD below the old retail price. I've seen Naxos CD's for $1.99 or $2.50 used. Definitely buy from amazon and forget the Borders/Barnes & Noble's.

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    Thing with borders is that I have a chance to browse more easily. I find composers I've never heard before and think, "Hey, why not".

    Also, concerning the price, when I was in HMV last I thought I'd see what they had. Not much compared to borders, but the price was only 5 pounds each, which was lucky as I only had a fiver in my pocket. It seems as though this is more or less what they cost at amazon if one includes shiping costs and all that stuff. Anyway, like I said. I enjoy browsing the records as I find it easier to find interesting music that way.

    Incidently, if anyone thinks HMV is in Norway, I'm sorry to say they're not. I'm currently living in England. I've nothing against Platekompaniet or Hysh Hysh or anything like that (Norwegian record stores) but I find HMV has a wider selection, except for the lack of Norwegian artists that is

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    Senior Member Hexameron's Avatar
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    Ok, so how much have you explored into Beethoven and Purcell? And do you prefer piano, orchestral, or chamber works?

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    Well, not much I have to admit. But I do believe that Beethoven wrote some of the most beutiful piano pieces I've ever heard. And as for Henry Purcell I love Dido and Aeneas. I listen to it all the time. I read somewhere that it's englands oldest opera. I think it was on h2g2. Due to the fact that I like this so much, I've thought about getting hold of some more Opera music, but I don't really know what to get at the moment. I heard King Arthur by Purcell is quite good, but I haven't seen it in the shops. I was hoping to find one from Naxos due to the friendly price tags they have but turns out they've only published it as a DVD, and I personally have no interest in watching it on DVD. I guess I'll just buy it from another label. Naxos though does have the Fairy Queen which apparently is an opera. I've never heard of it before.

    Have you read any of the classical music magazines? What kind of articles do they have? Reviews, history, concert reviews? I've seen two in the shops. One from the BBC and I think the other is called gramaphone.

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    Purcell - I haven't heard much from him except this fine CD from the Hyperion label. I actually like Purcell, and this is also on my wishlist. I haven't heard this one but I'd say go for it if you're really into him. I know these aren't from Naxos, but they are still cheap and worth the price. If you search "Purcell" at amazon.co.uk, you should be able to find some decent recordings from Naxos. Here you can actually get an idea of what Naxos has to offer from Henry Purcell.

    Beethoven - Which piano sonatas have you heard?

    Magazines - I've never subscribed to these, but I've glanced through Gramophone and it looks decent enough. It has plenty of reviews and articles on conductors/pianists, historical perspectives, composers, interpretations. Most of it looks like quality reading material, but the subscription is just too expensive for me. I'm not sure about the BBC Music magazine. I never see it on any stands here...

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    I can't recal the name of the piano works I've heard by Beethoven, but one of them is Moon Sonata, which is brilliant.

    I bought a Naxos recording of The Planets today after seeing it in the shop. It's some kind of 15 year aniversery edition for Naxos. Not quite sure when it was released but it was put on display above all the other records, which is why I bought it I suppose. I expected that if Naxos used it to mark their 15th aniversery, it must be good. I find it funny that a piece for pluto was created not long ago now that it recently lost it's status as a planet. The recording also contains a piece called "The Mystic Trumpeter" which apparently is a rediscovered piece.

    Now this is a great example of what I mean when I say that I find stuff by browsing in the shop which I otherwise wouldn't. Online you really need to know what you're looking for. In the shops you can easily browse and find stuff you didn't know about. I'd never heard about The Planets before. As a matter of fact, I can't even remember hearing the name Holst.

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    Senior Member Hexameron's Avatar
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    The only problem with browsing in the stores is picking up something that you're not ready for. I don't mean this with any tone of snobbery, but rather from my own experience. When I first discovered Beethoven's Moonlight, Pathetique and Tempest sonata, I decided to pick up the Hammerklavier, the Diabelli Variations, the Grosse Fuge and the Missa Solemnis. That's like only being able to read Dr. Seuss and then picking up Dante.

    At least from my experience, one has to start simple and slow; train your ears with the Appassionata before you attempt to follow along with the dizzying Largo-Allegro risoluto from the Hammerklavier. I think this really applies to all composers.

    On the other hand, the only way you'll expose yourself to the music is by randomly trying something new out there. My example is when I randomly grabbed a CD of Liszt's Transcendental Etudes, Schubert's two sets of Impromptus and Bach's Toccata and Fugues... after that I was stunned by the fact that I might have lived my entire life without hearing such art.

    Let me know if you want some recommendations for Beethoven or if you're perfectly happy just browsing by yourself. Just be warned that you might pick something up from Beethoven that proves incredibly difficult to listen to. Don't get the Diabelli Variations or the late piano sonatas yet...

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    Holst Planet Suite is one of the most famous pieces in classical music.

    It's Beethoven Moonlight Sonata. Have a look at the thread "Favourite PIano Sonatas". You will see it listed there along with many others.

    Opinions on this differ but I don't browse classical music in shops for the simple reason that most of them have virtually nothing. Far better to go to an online source (eg Amazon) and see what's available, and then order it from a shop or online. Rather than Amazon, I much prefer Tesco (in UK). On their website they have a good CD selection; and a very good download centre which I have found the best around. They have top quality recordings.

    Try the DDD Forum site for recommendations on classical music. It's pretty good (as long as you don't take the ranks on the lists too literally). It's far better than choosing by pot luck if you are a novice. That's how I built a large part of my whole collection, not messing about on places like this where it's just chat. This sort of place can be very hit and miss and patchy in terms of recommendations. You might get some right odd stuff recommended to you (not from from Hexameron or me I hasten to add!). Many posters are novices, so it could be the blind leading the blind in some casses. The DDD site has lists of decent music under different categories (symphonies, concertos, etc), ranked by "greatness". Don't take it too definitively as there are gaps, and as noted above the ranks shouldn't be taken too seriously either. At least it's set out logically and pretty comprehensively. Come back for further advice if you aren't sure.


    Topaz
    Last edited by Topaz; Dec-02-2006 at 22:45.

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    After digging out my beethoven cd (as I don't have a cd player I transfer them to my computer and then put the cd somewhere where I won't find it again) and woops, it is moonlight not moon. Man do I feel like an idiot now .

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    Hmm, after closer inspection of my newly aquired cd I've noticed that it claims to be the first cd to publish The Mystic Trumpeter composed by Gustav Holst and claims it to be a major rediscovery. I decided to find out more about it but my first source of information, wikipedia, didn't have an article on it. Oh well, I'll just have to use www.dogpile.com to see what I can find.

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