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hello chaps,

i am absolute beginner when it comes to classical music, so i am on here to ask some questions!

i enjoy listening occasionally to classic fm, but i really like music with vocals that seems to evoke a particularly pleasant mood. examples i can think of are schubert ave maria, mozart maria callas as in the song off the shawshank redemption. puccini chi il bel sogno di doretta.

and a few songs from an album 'classical legends' that i stole off my mum, obviously wagner ride of the valkyries.

i also enjoy music from films such as gladiator and star wars.

is anybody familiar with halo as in the computer game? the opening song is awesome, i love the beginning.

i suppose i'm a fairly mainstream classical music fan, but that is when i am only exposed to such music.

i would be grateful if you could suggest some music that i should definitely check out.

many thanks
 

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Hiya Johnboy,
Yes I like that choral piece from Halo as well. Sounds like you might like this disc called Cinema Choral Classics. Especially check out Agnus Dei which is a choral version of Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings. Also the tracked called O Fortuna is very famous and has been used in countless movies and commercials.

If you haven't already definitely check out Gustav Holst's The Planets. A very popular work. Mars is a big thundering piece that is fun to listen to and is in the same vein as the Star Wars themes.

http://www.amazon.com/Holst-Planets...1046553?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1173394969&sr=1-1
 

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Hey Johnboy,
I'm a big fan of choral music myself, and one piece that always evokes a particularly positive feeling in me is 'Zadock the Priest' by Handel. Bach's and Handel's choral works generally tend to be quite uplifting, but if you want something a bit heavier then I would recommend Haydn's 'Insanae et Vanae Curie' which alternates between some extremely dramatic sections and then beautifully flowing and soothing sections.
Also, if you're a novice in this field then I think you should definately get yourself a really kick-*** recording of Beethoven's 9th, as it's definately a must have for any classical fan. Personally I like the Orchestra Revolutionaire's recording (a very underrated orchestra) but it doesn't really matter a great deal if you're not familiar with many orchestras!
Basic choral/operatic works you might wana lay your hands on would be-
Mozart's requiem in C Minor
Faure's Requiem
Handel's Messiah
Bach's Christmas Oratorio
Haydn's Creation
Mozart's Marriage of Figaro
Beethoven's Fidelio
Puccini's Madame Butterfly
Verdi's- La Traviata
Mendelssohn's Elijah

Hope some of that appeals to you. If not I could recommend for hours :p
 
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Although I tend to shy away from most solo vocal music, if you really want to be transported to the heavens, turn off the lights and try Richard Strauss' "Four Last Songs".
 
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