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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Join me on a years journey through classical music from medieval to contemporary.

You may be a beginner who, like me a year ago, wants to discover and listen to music that is highly recommended in each period. You might be a fan of one composer, or a lover of one period, and be interested to discover more of other composers or other music. You might be an experienced listener who is interested to share your knowledge with others in an accessible way. Whatever your motivation, I hope you’ll find this thread to be of value.

We’ll spend time:

Q1
Week 1a: Early Music & Ars Antiqua inc. Hildegard von Bingen, Pérotin & Léonin
Week 1b: Composers born 1300-1399 inc. Machaut, Dufay & Dunstaple
Week 2: Composers born 1400-1466 inc. Josquin & Ockeghem
Week 3: Composers born 1467-1533 inc. Palestrina, Tallis & Lassus
Week 4: Composers born 1534-1567 inc. Monteverdi, Dowland & Byrd
Week 5: Composers born 1568-1599 inc. Allegri, Schütz & Praetorius
Week 6: Composers born 1600-1633 inc. Carissimi, Lully & Strozzi
Week 7: Composers born 1634-1666 inc. Purcell, Corelli & Biber
Week 8: Composers born 1667-1681 inc. Vivaldi, Couperin & Telemann
Week 9: Composers born 1681-1685 inc. Handel & Rameau
Week 10: Composers born 1685-1695 inc. JS Bach pre-Leipzig
Week 11: Composers born 1696-1699 inc. JS Bach in Leipzig
Week 12: Composers from the Baroque to Classical transition inc. Tartini, Scarlatti & CPE Bach
Week 13: Composers known primarily for opera born 1600-1799 inc. Rossini, Gluck & Donizetti

Q2
Week 14: Composers born 1700-1724 plus Haydn works 1760-1783
Week 15: Composers born 1725-1732 plus Haydn works 1784-1803
Week 16: Composers born 1733-1739 plus Mozart works 1772-1779
Week 17: Composers born 1740-1749 plus Mozart works 1780-1785
Week 18: Composers born 1750-1759 plus Mozart works 1786-1791
Week 19: Composers born 1760-1769 plus Beethoven works 1795-1805
Week 20: Composers born 1770-1783 plus Beethoven works 1806-1811
Week 21: Composers born 1784-1794 plus Beethoven works 1812-1827
Week 22: Composers born 1795-1799 inc. Schubert
Week 23: Composers born 1800-1809 inc. Berlioz & Mendelssohn
Week 24: Composers born 1810 inc. Chopin & Schumann
Week 25: Composers born 1811-1819 inc. Liszt
Week 26: Composers known primarily for opera born 1800-1840 inc. Verdi, Wagner & Bellini

Q3
Week 27: Composers born 1820-1832 inc. Smetana, Bruckner & Franck
Week 28: Composers born 1833 inc. Brahms
Week 29: Composers born 1834-1839 inc. Bizet, Bruch, Saint-Saëns plus "The Big Five"
Week 30: Composers born 1840-1843 exc. Dvořák inc. Tchaikovsky & Grieg
Week 31: Composers born 1844-1849 plus Dvořák inc. Fauré
Week 32: Composers born 1850-1859 inc. Elgar & Janáček
Week 33: Composers born 1860-1862 inc. Debussy & Mahler
Week 34: Composers born 1864-1865 inc. Sibelius, Strauss R & Nielsen
Week 35: Composers born 1866-1872 inc. Satie & Scriabin
Week 36: Composers associated with the English Pastoral School inc. Vaughan Williams
Week 37: Composers born 1873-1875 inc. Rachmaninov & Ravel
Week 38: Composers born 1876-1879 plus those associated with the Second Viennese School inc. Berg & Schoenberg
Week 39: Composers known primarily for opera born 1841-1939 inc. Puccini & Massenet

Q4
Week 40: Composers born 1880-1884 exc. Stravinsky inc. Bartók, Kodály & Varèse
Week 41: Composers born 1885-1889 plus Stravinsky inc. Villa-Lobos
Week 42: Composers born 1890-1891 inc. Prokofiev & Martinů
Week 43: Composers born 1892-1897 inc. Hindemith plus all of "Les Six"
Week 44: Composers born 1898-1902 inc. Gershwin, Copland & Walton
Week 45: Composers born 1903-1906 inc. Shostakovich & Khachaturian
Week 46: Composers born 1907-1910 inc. Barber, Messiaen & Carter
Week 47: Composers born 1911-1916 inc. Britten & Cage
Week 48: Composers born 1917-1925 inc. Bernstein, Berio, Ligeti & Boulez
Week 49: Composers born 1926-1933 inc. Górecki, Penderecki & Stockhausen
Week 50: Composers born 1934-1939 inc. Reich, Pårt & Glass
Week 51: Composers born 1940-present inc. Adams, Saariaho & Tavener
Week 52: Composers of film, musical and games music inc. Bernstein, Williams, Morricone & Zimmer

The journey begins on 1st January 2022. Join me for the full journey or link in when it suits your listening. I hope there’ll be plenty of discussion, and only ask that whatever you share remains positive and helpful to those with perhaps less experience and knowledge than you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
So how will this work?

Over the past eighteen months I’ve sought to establish the most recommended music to widen my understanding and appreciation of all eras of classical music. After a few false starts, I decided to analyse the works recommended by various sources. These include a wide range of media such as classical music radio stations in the US, UK and Australia, books by Swafford and others, academic resources, publications from the US and UK, and internet sources including Gramophone and of course, our very own Talk Classical listings. I tried where I could to avoid one person’s opinion, unless like Swafford, they have a sound reputation. I found that many ignored either early or contemporary music so went to a couple of additional resources for those. In total, I used nearly forty different sources that I judged to be of sufficient quality to justify their inclusion.

Each week I’ll share the most highly recommended listening for the period and we can explore and discuss the top pieces. At more than 100 pieces per week on avearge, we’ll not have the time to listen to everything and how deep into the list you want to delve is entirely up to you. I’ll provide the full listing for your future reference.

I wont be recommending which versions of each piece to listen to. I’ll leave it for others more knowledgeable and experienced than me to share their insights. Where appropriate I’ll mention the version that I have or prefer, but I recognise that tastes differ.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
A little about me before we begin.

I was a long-time beginner with classical music. I had listened to what you might call popular classics since I was in my late-twenties (I virtually wore out all of The Classic Experience cds for anyone that knows them). I also attended opera including Tosca at the ROH, Turandot in Bordeaux, The Magic Flute in Paris, Aida in Orange, and Lulu, Queen of Spades and Jenůfa at Glyndebourne.

In May 2020, I was challenged by a friend on Facebook to post ten albums that influenced my life, one per day. In deciding which ten to choose I discovered that amongst the Bowie, Dylan, John Martyn, and Florence and the Machine albums, my most played album on iTunes was Mendelssohn’s Piano Trios by Perlman, Ma and Ax. I didn’t even remember buying it, and certainly hadn’t realised that I had listened to it twice as much as any other album I owned. This discovery made me determine to delve deeper into classical music and ultimately brought me to Talk Classical. I’m now, ‘hooked’, and am grateful for many doyens of this site for sharing so much information, guidance and insight in various threads that has supported my learning and listening over the past eighteen months.

I certainly don’t consider myself an expert. Far, far from it. These listings are unlikely to be error-free. All I can say is that I’ve lived and continue to live the, “n00b”, experience and know how challenging it can be for anyone wanting to learn more about classical. This thread is designed to help. You might consider it a ‘sister’ thread to pianozach’s execllent, “Beginner’s Guide to Classical Music”, giving some structure to the task and I’ll link to his excellent commentary on individual pieces as appropriate. I’ll also try to link to some of the resources we have on composers and pieces.
 

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Join me on a years journey through classical music from medieval to contemporary.

You may be a beginner who, like me a year ago, wants to discover and listen to music that is highly recommended in each period. You might be a fan of one composer, or a lover of one period, and be interested to discover more of other composers or other music. You might be an experienced listener who is interested to share your knowledge with others in an accessible way. Whatever your motivation, I hope you'll find this thread tio be of value.

We'll spend time:

• January - Medieval & Renaissance music
• February - Baroque
• March - Baroque
• April - Classical
• May - Classical
• June - Classical
• July - Early-Romantic
• August - Mid and Late Romantic
• September - Late and Post-Romantic
• October - Modern
• November - Modern
• December - Contemporary

For composers who are known for both standard works and opera, we'll cover their recommended operas as we go. For composers who are almost exlusively known for opera only, we'll group them into weeks 13, 26, 39 and 52.

The journey begins on 1st January 2022. Join me for the full journey or link in when it suits your listening. I hope there'll be plenty of discussion, and only ask that whatever you share remains positive and helpful to those with perhaps less experience and knowledge than you.
This is completely ridiculous. January covers at least 500 years. April, May and June covers probably less than 100 years.
 

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Very nice, and not ridiculous. Actually, I think your time schedules for the various periods are good. One can easily spend a month exploring diversities in Medieval & Renaissance music only, and get the big picture, for example - but even if including both the music and performance-wise, differences will be bigger later. The 20th-21st centuries have seen more stylistic diversity than anything else. Also, the earliest music is really tied up with, and dependent upon, the performers and their chosen performance style. You could then explore the various ages and performers in depth later too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
This is completely ridiculous. January covers at least 500 years. April, May and June covers probably less than 100 years.
I'm sorry you feel that way. I can only share the music that's recommended listening in each period and the spread works pretty much evenly. As I shared, I even added recommendations for early and contemporary music beyond the standard sources. It might work out for the best, but I know it won't delight everyone. Let's, "Suck it and see".
 

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I'm sorry you feel that way. I can only share the music that's recommended listening in each period and the spread works pretty much evenly. As I shared, I even added recommendations for early and contemporary music beyond the standard sources. It might work out for the best, but I know it won't delight everyone. Let's, "Suck it and see".
It just can't be right. January covers music from chant to popular and art songs to dramatic settings to multiple part organum to polyphonic motets and mass cycles. Classical style is basically Mozart and Haydn and a handful of also rans like Boccherini. You're going to get nothing significant out of January and be bored to tears in from 1 April to 30 June.
 

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We'll spend time:

• January - Medieval & Renaissance music
• February - Baroque
• March - Baroque
• April - Classical
• May - Classical
• June - Classical
• July - Early-Romantic
• August - Mid and Late Romantic
• September - Late and Post-Romantic
• October - Modern
• November - Modern
• December - Contemporary
I could not spend one day listening to music from the Classical period, much less three months. I won't be joining you on this journey.
 

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Very nice, and not ridiculous. Actually, I think your time schedules for the various periods are good. One can easily spend a month exploring diversities in Medieval & Renaissance music only, and get the big picture, for example - but even if including both the music and performance-wise, differences will be bigger later. The 20th-21st centuries have seen more stylistic diversity than anything else. Also, the earliest music is really tied up with, and dependent upon, the performers and their chosen performance style. You could then explore the various ages and performers in depth later too.
Agreed. As one also championing a thread covering music for beginners, I early on discovered that TIME is irrelevant in terms of music history (or just plain old history for that matter).

Medieval music is simply not as plentiful as music from later eras, especially Baroque, Classical, and Romantic. Most of us here that listen to Classical Music generally listen from these three eras, although there certainly exceptions (those who listen to lots of pre-Baroque or post-Romantic instead).

Chilham's set up makes a great deal of sense, especially from a teaching perspective: two months for Baroque, and three each for Classical and Romantic eras.

And, as with my Beginner's Guide thread, I am discovering along the way.
 

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It just can't be right. January covers music from chant to popular and art songs to dramatic settings to multiple part organum to polyphonic motets and mass cycles. Classical style is basically Mozart and Haydn and a handful of also rans like Boccherini. You're going to get nothing significant out of January and be bored to tears in from 1 April to 30 June.
You don't appear to have much affection for the Classical era. Maybe you are right about "too much time", maybe not. Keep in mind that Chilham can change the schedule whenever he wants; he's in charge. Flexibility will be important in this journey.
 

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It just can't be right. January covers music from chant to popular and art songs to dramatic settings to multiple part organum to polyphonic motets and mass cycles. Classical style is basically Mozart and Haydn and a handful of also rans like Boccherini. You're going to get nothing significant out of January and be bored to tears in from 1 April to 30 June.
• January - Medieval & Renaissance music
• February - Baroque & Classical
• March - Romantic
• April - Modern
• May - Modern
• June - Modern
• July - Modern
• August - Contemporary
• September - Contemporary
• October - Contemporary
• November - Contemporary
• December - Contemporary

This is what you want, isn't it?
 

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Crikey - its a personal journey that we are being invited to join and comment on. Why should any of us have a right to determine which route Chilham chooses to tread.

I will follow with interest.

To quote the OP.
'The journey begins on 1st January 2022. Join me for the full journey or link in when it suits your listening. I hope there'll be plenty of discussion, and only ask that whatever you share remains positive and helpful to those with perhaps less experience and knowledge than you.'
 

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Crikey - its a personal journey that we are being invited to join and comment on. Why should any of us have a right to determine which route Chilham chooses to tread.
I know, right? The guy walks in, announces that the next round's on him, and the round after that, and the next thing you know you've got the local cranks griping that he's buying Stouts, and the next guy's kvetching that it should be Lagers and some elbow in the corner is grousing that it's not Ales: "TheRe SHOulD bE tHREe RouNdS oF aLEs!!!"
 
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