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March 25, 2004, 10:10 PM
[Edited on 6-9-2004 by Nascer]

March 25, 2004, 10:37 PM
Well, I was born in Austria, and naturally grew up on a diet of Mozart, Haydn, Strauss Sr, Strauss Jr, Beethoven, Wagner, Liszt, Bach, etc, etc.

I'm not a big fan of Beethoven...too much booming bass and generally loud...mainly cause he went deaf.

I like Strauss's compositions (both Junior or Senior)...the Blue Danube waltz is probably the most famous.

Mozart is my absolute favourite; indeed, how could it be any different for an austrian? best compositions? all of them!

all the other germanic composers, hmm, don't like that much.

non-germanic...vivaldi and tchaikovsky are probably the greatest exponents. but as austrians will generally tell you, non-austrian composers are an inferior race. :)

anyway, hope i don't sound like too much of a geek.

March 25, 2004, 10:57 PM
2 russian composers I admire and listen to now and then.

[Edited on 26-3-2004 by oracle]

March 25, 2004, 11:02 PM
Well, I've been listening to classical music since I was 15. So you're not the only geek Shubho :)

But, I must admit, I don't know much, as I can never remember the names of pieces I like.

Like most plebians, one of my favourite is of course Beethoven, I really like his dramatic, loud and emotive style.

Mozart I find too pompous for my liking. Although I do acknowledge he is an amazing genius. I can't stand either of the Bachs (too righteous for me). But then again, I don't really like Baroque all that much.

I like Tchaicovsky whose music I find quite melancholy. In fact, Russian composers in general I like..

I'm not really into Operas (yet), so haven't really checked out Wagner, but I know I should because apparently he is the best composer ever :P

And last but not least, I am a great fan of Chopin. I like most of his piano concertos.

Out of contemporary composers, I really like Philip Glass and Michael Nyman's work.
(Nyman wrote the score for movie 'The Piano)

March 25, 2004, 11:47 PM
Nascer, I would like to recommend the following pieces by Franz Liszt:

1. Un Sospiro
2. Don Juan
3. Hungarian Rhapsody
4. Sonata in B Minor


They are out-of-this-world works. Even if you're never going to listen to any other classical music, you must expreience these.

March 26, 2004, 12:21 AM
Try to get the Ballet Suites by Rostropovich conducting the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra - amazing

Hate to admint it but I do like Wagner.

March 26, 2004, 01:19 AM
of experiencing Liszt's Don Juan by an extraordinary pianist. wmv file size: 22.5 MB. Run time: 13:51


[Edited on 26-3-2004 by Arnab]

March 26, 2004, 01:03 PM
is a great piece :P

That's the only thing I know how to play in a piano!

[Edited on 26-3-2004 by Orpheus : damn letters!]

March 26, 2004, 03:19 PM
[Edited on 6-9-2004 by Nascer]

March 26, 2004, 04:17 PM
Originally posted by Nascer

You seem to be directing me to Ballets by Tchaikovsky. Ballets are something I would rather enjoy in a theatre or hall.
I am surprised that you hate to say you like Wagner. Is there any particular reason for that? Please don't give me jewish explanation or Hitler's love for him.
Btw, what do you like of Wagner? and why?

Hokay ....

The others had posted about their own personal likes - they are great examples. I gave this particular example to highlight how much a great conductor and a great orchestra combined with a great composer can create music that stands on its own - one doesn't need to be at the ballet to appreciate the music. :)

As for Wagner, perhaps I don't hate to admit that I like Wagner. Perhaps what I said was an automatic refrain: much like the groans one makes when one hears a pun. You might love puns, but you will still groan.

Why do I like Wagner? Many complain his works are too long or too loud. To me, his work is supremely uplifting. His latter compositions experiment with musical expression of emotional range that just gets you completely absorbed. At the end, I emerge feeling refreshed and energized. Sturm und drang for you.

Some funny quips about Wagner:

One cannot judge 'Lohengrin' from a first hearing, and I certainly do not intend to hear it a second time. - Rossini

Richard Wagner was a musician who wrote music which is better than it sounds. - Mark Twain

I like Wagner's music better than anybody's. It is so loud that one can talk the whole time. - Oscar Wilde

Touching on the other topic you mentioned: I love deshi classical music too. I personally map our classical music to free-form Jazz in the western world. I would say I like the Hindustani style more than the Carnatic style. I tend to like Sarod based ragas over anything else. One thing about our form of classical music is that I get the most enjoyment from a live presence. If I can't shake my head and cry out "marhaba" once in a while, my pleasure is diminished. :)


[Edited on 26-3-2004 by Zunaid : garmar and sepelling]

March 26, 2004, 04:25 PM
What can I say, Liszt is really underrated.

He basically pushed the boudaries of what could be done on the piano.

Berlioz wrote of Liszt's piano playing, which possessed "infinite masses of tone" and "accents and nuances which have been unanimously declared impossible on the piano, and which until now have been unattainable" (qtd. in Ratliff, Program Notes on Liszt).

He introduced new harmonies and novel elements, used daring chords, chromatic themes, and dynamic progressions.

Just watch the Don Juan video. It is a transcendental work.

[Edited on 26-3-2004 by Arnab]

March 28, 2004, 03:23 AM
While Liszt's pieces do show off the pianist's technical skill and dexterity, I don't find his work aurally pleasing as a listener. I mean, that 'Don Juan' piece, did it even have a melody? Excessive use of "Glissando" does not make good listening material. Rakmaninov (sp?) is another composer like him. I suppose they are good if you want to listen to the boundaries that human beings can go. But I think they lack emotion. Their music does not portray any feeling, like despair, happiness, love etc. It's all about the pianist's technical skill. This is where I think Chopin, and also Beethoven excel, one can virtually feel his emotions through the varying phases of his pieces. Same with Tchaikovsky.

Incidently Nascer, I only listen to pieces in the Minor key, I don't bother with music in the Major key as I know I won't like them. So in that sense, most of Tchaikovsky's work in the Minor key are meloncholy and brooding.

[Edited on 29-3-2004 by fab]

March 28, 2004, 04:38 AM
I only listen to pieces in the Minor key, I don't bother with music in the Major key as I know I won't like them

achcha!.....tai naki? interesting.... I feel for your husband... really!

March 28, 2004, 06:14 PM
hahaha, Orphy. I'm not a 'spoon in a soup' and it's not as though I never tried listening to and enjoying those pieces. I did try, and I can't say I liked all that many.. (btw, my husband doesn't care since he doesn't like classical music :P )

March 28, 2004, 07:09 PM
Liszt is not aurally pleasing? No melodies?

Blasphemy! To the gallows!

Liszt is not for the simple minded classical music listener who waits for a simplistic, catchy, melodic theme that repeats a certain number of times.

Liszt introduces layers of notes upon notes, variations in the layers of the same themes and variation of tempo within repeated themes. It's extremely beautiful once you take time to realize the brilliance that has gone into the composition.

It's brainy classical music.

And it's certainly not devoid of feelings. Watch the expressions on the face of Valentina Lisitsa, who played the piece. At times, she seems somber while playing dark, ominous tones. Other times, she almost caresses the keys to produce soft, warm tones. Then she goes berserk on some crazy interplay between the right and left hands. At times, she sports playful smirks, as the music itself lightens into a playful, woo-ish mood. Tension builds up as she flurries through a barrage of notes, then comes the release with big chords, immediately followed by the softest of key pressing. As if Liszt is playfully massaging the listener's auditory senses with nuanced strokes. Come on.

[Edited on 29-3-2004 by Arnab]

March 28, 2004, 09:05 PM
It's brainy classical music.

Music is music. All humans are capable of appreciating it. I don't subscribe to the view that there are pieces of classical music that needs special mental capability. Figuring out how the intricacies and skills of the composers ability to compose is another matter.:)

March 28, 2004, 09:40 PM
I think you can appreciate music because your brain can recognize different frequencies, tones and overtones, volumes, timbres and patterns that are presented by the music. The better your ability as a listener, the better you appreciate the intricacies. The more intricate the music, the more brainwork is needed. Ultimately, you listen to music with your brain. You can associate certain feelings that are evoked when a certain set of notes is played, but those associations and feelings are also created in special regions of your brain.

[Edited on 29-3-2004 by Arnab]

March 28, 2004, 10:15 PM
Brainy music? hehe Arnie, get over yourself dude.. :pig:

Anyway, as I said, yes their (i.e. Liszt, Rachmaninoff et al) compositions are very complex, but to ME they are NOT beautiful music. Yes, these pieces do make you sit in awe at the brilliance of both composer and musician, but it is hardly something you can listen to more than once (because it is not aurally pleasing) and hence get to know its intricacies better. The Liszt pieces I have heard, feels like aggressive music, which I don't appreciate. Also, I think the fact that the woman playing in your 'audio visual experience' is so gorgeous AND graceful makes viewing her play Liszt more enjoyable, rather than the piece itself. Kudos to Valentina.

Anyhow, since music is so subjective, how about we just agree to disagree on this one? :)
Did Liszt compose any symphonies? I've only heard piano pieces by him.

Btw, Chopin's music can hardly be called 'simplistic, catchy, melodic or repetitive'. If you think so, then obviously have not heard much of his work.

[Edited on 29-3-2004 by fab]

March 28, 2004, 10:32 PM
Look, there's no point arguing that I am brainier than you. It's ok. Let's not squabble over established facts.

But yes, I agree it's totally subjective. I can listen to Liszt and Rachmaninoff and marvel at their works days on end. In addition to being brilliant and unprecedented, their works evoke different feelings than your run of the mill "melody", not that I don't like pieces that are "melodic". But these composers take it to a different level, because of their playing prowess. And if you want to follow them as a listener, you too have to elevate your listening power to a different level.

The moment you bind yourself in meaningles boundaries like "too aggressive", "too mellow", etc., you forego the beauty that you might have experienced.

PS. I said nothing of Chopin.

PS2. I invite you to listen to "Un Sospiro" by Liszt. In silence. Then come back and tell me if that is not the most etheral, melodic piece of music you've ever heard.

[Edited on 29-3-2004 by Arnab]

March 29, 2004, 09:40 PM
Just had a listen to it. It's not as bad as his other stuff (which give me headaches). Anyhow, I AGREE that Liszt was a technical genius, but the perfect word to describe him is, i think, ostentacious. I just can't help but feel the dude is trying to show off his skill to everyone. It is basically 'Look at me, look at what I can do!' type music.

I dunno, when I listen to classical music I seek artistic beauty, and I think Chopin was a master of that for piano. Perhaps that's why i can NOT really appreciate the loud bangings of Liszt.

March 29, 2004, 10:56 PM
It's ok. I understand. You are looking for the same thing that every generic person looks for in classical music.

Liszt was FAR more than a technical genius. Yes, he was arguably the greatest pianist of all time. Yes, the pieces he wrote are considered Everests to climb for even the most virtuosic pianists. But there is enormous beauty in the deluge of notes. It's hidden, to be discovered.

Let me give you an analogy. Assuming you are not a web designer/web design connoisseur, you have no idea what goes through a web designer's mind when he looks at a beautifully structured website. Every line, every shade of color, form, shape, margin, space, border, functionality is visible to him at once, since he knows the nuts and bolts of html and css coding.So, when he encounters a truly beautifully constructed website, he definitely has the skill/knowledge to appreicate the work. You, a generic web surfer, cannot even comprehend what is going through the web designer/web connoisseur's mind. To you it's just another website, a "show off" even. But he, by virtue of his observational power, is in a better position to appreciate the nuances than you.

You can extend this analogy to ANY form of connoiseurism. Food, fashion, literature, science, architecture.

March 30, 2004, 02:09 AM
Excuse me, but how do you know if I do or do not know about music?

What I said about Liszt is generally accepted in the music world. Melodically and emotively, he was no genius. Let me explain something to you - technical difficulty/complexity does NOT equal to exquisite, emotionally challenging or even GREAT music. I REQUEST you to get that through your thick skull.

In fact, read any old Liszt vs Chopin debate and the same thing gets told over and over again, Liszt's music is generally NOT as beautiful as Chopin's. Liszt is unable to stir emotions 150 years on as Chopin can. Liszt's music alone (I am not talking about the influence he had on other composers), was unable to transcend the generation boundaries of audiences. The dude WAS popular when he was alive because he was so superfluous and flamboyant i.e. everything that an AVERAGE music buff was after in those days.

Some people enjoy listening to emotion stirring journeys, while others (like you), enjoy listening to technical studies (many of Liszt's pieces reminds me of the hours I spent doing scales) and super human feats. Seriously, as someone who has played the piano for a number of years, I found it much much more difficult to play emotive music that strikes a chord in the soul making it memorable than I did playing technically challenging pieces that impressed the neighbours...

Now I invite YOU to listen to an emotive piece, and look beyond the technical brilliance and mathematics of music. It is much more rewarding. I read once that Oscar Wilde or a similar character, said of Chopin's music, something along the lines of - after listening to Chopin's music I find myself crying over sins that I didn't commit and mourning tragedies that were not mine. Now, that my friend, is called emotive music. :)

As Nascer mentioned, pick any of his Nocturnes and you will not be disappointed.

BTW, I am by no means trying to denigrate Liszt. His music was pivotal. But saying that only uber-intellectual types can like Liszt is the most ludicrous thing I have heard. I know a lot of dumb people who enjoy loud banging music :)

PS: I apologise to Nascer for turning his thread into yet another fight fest :( But it is absolutely impossible to have a civil conversation with this punk.

[Edited on 30-3-2004 by fab]

March 30, 2004, 01:18 PM
[Edited on 6-9-2004 by Nascer]

March 30, 2004, 05:58 PM
Off topic:

I know a lot of dumb people who enjoy loud banging music


I didn't intend this thread to become a personal platform to debate about meaningless interpretations of a person's dogmatic views.

If you're implying my posts, yuck.

Many people has a fine 'brain' but a dreadful mind (knowing you for ages makes me wonder if you fall into this group).

You on the other hand, being cursed with a 'dreadful mind' always try to engage yourself in 'tedious argument with insidious intent'. One acts when one prevaricates.


If I am not mistaken, I understand Arnab has a one track mind whose only is intention to irritate others.



Is there any point to this? Look, I entered the thread with some suggestions, like everyone else. I even enthusiastically gave a link to the music I like. Look at my first three posts in this thread. Did I say ANYTHING about the composers that others have mentioned?

It's stupid comments like "Liszt is not melodic", "it's loud, banging music," (fab) etc. that brought about my latter posts, where I described, in more detail, what aspects of Liszt's music moves me. I even bent over backwards to hypothesize, with analogies, why someone would make such stupid comments. Yes, I feel you need more brain power to realize the intricacies of Liszt's work. That doesn't mean you don't have ANY brainpower or whatever, but that you need to culture your listening capabilities. That's all I suggested. I was NOT putting out "meaningless interpretations"(Nascer) or "insidiously intending to irritate" (Nascer again). In fact, I was the one who was irritated by someone else first.

I didn't personally attack ANYONE, nor did I compare Liszt with a particular composer. The contrary happened.

If you don't like Liszt, hey, it's your loss. I am not missing anything myself, because I enjoy every other composer mentioned in this thread. But please, don't post something as ignorant and distasteful as the quotes above. Yuck.

I wish there was a filp off smiley on the board, like they have on the chat. Oh well.

[Edited on 30-3-2004 by Arnab]

March 30, 2004, 06:38 PM
Moderation off begins -->

You are looking for the same thing that every generic person looks for in classical music.Wondering what would be your brand!

<-- Moderation off ends.

March 30, 2004, 07:20 PM
No need to wonder, let me give you the words. How about non-generic? Daring? Experimental? Just like Liszt?

"Assume the combination of two things; first, a musical mind that takes rank among the greatest in musical history and second, a pair of hands trained to perfection by Czerny, himself; in other words, a playing apparatus so highly developed as to enable the mind to do with it whatever it pleases; a set of fingers which are the obedient slaves of the player's every whim or caprice and serve the musical mind without its being in the least conscious of the service. If we can stretch our imagination so far as to conceive of this combination we shall have caught a glimpse of what Liszt had at his command."

"It was because of what he had to say that he reached out for a broad education as for a means to express himself clearly and adequately. And it was the musical side of his personality which - endeavoring to put into tonal reality what was in his mind - caused him to use his technique with such results as amounted to the creation of, practically, a new technique"

"The technical innovations are very distinctly the result of Liszt's musical concepts. In other words, the pieces in which these innovations occur are not written round the technical matter, but the technical execution had to be invented to produce the desired effect of the pieces; and the invention of the technical means came of itself to him when he tried his idea on the piano."

Liszt' virtuosity is not something silly as perfection of the techniques that were already there. It is different. In order to express his multifaceted feelings, he had to INVENT new, superhuman techniques. Feelings came first, then came the technique.

"Liszt's every concert had an educational purpose, not as a lesson in piano playing - indeed, not! - but as an elevation of the public's musical taste."

[Edited on 31-3-2004 by Arnab]

April 1, 2004, 09:55 AM
[Edited on 6-9-2004 by Nascer]