Classical Music (not film scores) Discussion - AVS Forum
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Old 05-19-2011, 07:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Thread starting post by Oink copied here:

For a long time I have contemplated starting this thread, but wasn't confident there would be much interest.

Well....The Black Swan thread showed me my misgivings were baseless.

Therefore, here we gooooo......

We can talk about anything having to do with Classical Music.
Critique of various recordings?
Yup.
Recommendations of recordings for various repertoire?
Yup.
Performances you have seen?
Yup.
Evaluation of DVDs and BDs and other formats used for recordings?
Yes please.
Critique of performers?
Of composers?
Yup and Yup.
Your favorite recordings and why?
Oh yeah.
Biographical info?
Sure, why not?

Essentially, anything we want to post about Classical Music.
Free-flowing....wherever it leads.

BTW, I have sent Larry a PM asking him to move the OT posts from The Black Swan over here (don't wanna get that thread off-track).


Start of copied posts:

Quote:
Originally Posted by thehun View Post
Even for the German language opera that is extremely debatable, Mozart operas much like his other works are rather simple and even childish, [although there is quiet a few of his works are genius for sure]probably the reason why he's so popular with the general public and recommended for beginners like you did above. The real heavy hitter is Wagner here, unlike Mozart who wrote all kinds of music, Wagner dedicated most of his talent to Opera.

And then there is the Italian language Opera with it's superstar composers[Verdi,Rossini,Puccini] which flourished well after Mozart's death, are the ones that most people today still flock to see/hear, and frankly I would recommend those well before Mozart's. YMMV.
Childish??? The Magic Flute, Don Giovanni, Figaro or even Idomeneo are Childish? Damn! Pardon me, but the general public usually doesn't know squat about Mozart, always associating him with "nice" and "lovely" music. The last 5 years of his life he wrote still unequalled music, full of his own fears, love, maturity and concerns regarding his own life and status as a musician. Wagner aimed for his "Total Art" (I don't know if it's the right word, I'm just translating it from the french appellation), times were different, Beethoven paved the route before Wagner, and Mozart before Beethoven.

The so-called itialian superstars were all in competition as to who was going to write the most acrobatic theme for the soprano and the other solists. Most of their operas are somewhat average outside a couple of arias. Wagner made probably the most "unified" work of his time (story, music, set), but Mozart as well, in his own context. His Operas are of much higher quality, musically, than most of the following italian *cough* stars.

Mozart is an icon to me, but not in a "general public" way.
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Old 05-19-2011, 08:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Morpheo View Post
Childish??? The Magic Flute, Don Giovanni, Figaro or even Idomeneo are Childish? Damn! Pardon me, but the general public usually doesn't know squat about Mozart, always associating him with "nice" and "lovely" music. The last 5 years of his life he wrote still unequalled music, full of his own fears, love, maturity and concerns regarding his own life and status as a musician. Wagner aimed for his "Total Art" (I don't know if it's the right word, I'm just translating it from the french appellation), times were different, Beethoven paved the route before Wagner, and Mozart before Beethoven.

The so-called itialian superstars were all in competition as to who was going to write the most acrobatic theme for the soprano and the other solists. Most of their operas are somewhat average outside a couple of arias. Wagner made probably the most "unified" work of his time (story, music, set), but Mozart as well, in his own context. His Operas are of much higher quality, musically, than most of the following italian *cough* stars.

Mozart is an icon to me, but not in a "general public" way.
Let me preface my remarks by apologizing for continuing this remarkably interesting but off topic discussion of classical music. You guys got in my wheelhouse so I just can't help myself.

Morpheo is right, Mozart is one of the superstars of Western music, along with Bach and Brahms, who so far as I know did not write operas, and Bethoven, who wrote only one. Most of Mozart's music was sweet and goodnatured but nothing ever composed is darker than his Don Giovani or Requiem. Most amazing he was incredibly prolific, with many operas, symphonies, and chamber pieces. Mozart was a towering genius for the ages.

Verdi and Puccini were men of the theater and their operas were the popular entertainment of the day. Because of the popularity and long life of Verdi's operas I think he is underrated as a composer. Some of his music, especially in his late operas, Aida, Otello, and Falstaff is richly complex and transcendently beautiful. The main reason I find Verdi and Puccini's work so appealing is that it is filled with raw emotion that works because it is supported by beautiful music.

I haven't mentioned Wagner because his work has never especially appealed to me. I'm either not smart enough or not patient enough, one or the other, to enjoy it much. I've tried, God knows I've tried to like it but there it is.
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Old 05-19-2011, 08:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwsat View Post
Morpheo is right, Mozart is one of the superstars of Western music, along with Bach and Brahms, who so far as I know did not write operas, and Bethoven, who wrote only one. Most of Mozart's music was sweet and goodnatured but nothing ever composed is darker than his Don Giovani or Requiem. Most amazing he was incredibly prolific, with many operas, symphonies, and chamber pieces. Mozart was a towering genius for the ages.
He also had a great laugh and occasionally wore pink wigs.
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Old 05-19-2011, 10:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thehun View Post

Even for the German language opera that is extremely debatable, Mozart operas much like his other works are rather simple and even childish, [although there is quiet a few of his works are genius for sure]probably the reason why he's so popular with the general public and recommended for beginners like you did above. The real heavy hitter is Wagner here, unlike Mozart who wrote all kinds of music, Wagner dedicated most of his talent to Opera.

And then there is the Italian language Opera with it's superstar composers[Verdi,Rossini,Puccini] which flourished well after Mozart's death, are the ones that most people today still flock to see/hear, and frankly I would recommend those well before Mozart's. YMMV.

I would not say Mozart is ONLY for beginners.
My point was Mozart is the most accessable.
That is not same as "simplistic."

Unlike many of the great opera composers, Mozart had a serious gift for memorable tunes.
Perhaps this may be what you are referring to?

Here is a list of his masterpiece operas:

Die Entführung aus dem Serail, K. 384 (1782)
Die Zauberflöte, K. 620 (1791)

Idomeneo, K. 366 (1781)
Le nozze di Figaro, K. 492 (1786)
Don Giovanni, K. 527 (1787)
Così fan tutte, K. 588 (1789)

BTW, the 1st two are in German, the others are in Italian.

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Old 05-19-2011, 12:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Morpheo View Post

Childish??? The Magic Flute, Don Giovanni, Figaro or even Idomeneo are Childish? Damn! Pardon me, but the general public usually doesn't know squat about Mozart, always associating him with "nice" and "lovely" music. The last 5 years of his life he wrote still unequalled music, full of his own fears, love, maturity and concerns regarding his own life and status as a musician. Wagner aimed for his "Total Art" (I don't know if it's the right word, I'm just translating it from the french appellation), times were different, Beethoven paved the route before Wagner, and Mozart before Beethoven.

The so-called itialian superstars were all in competition as to who was going to write the most acrobatic theme for the soprano and the other solists. Most of their operas are somewhat average outside a couple of arias. Wagner made probably the most "unified" work of his time (story, music, set), but Mozart as well, in his own context. His Operas are of much higher quality, musically, than most of the following italian *cough* stars.

Mozart is an icon to me, but not in a "general public" way.

Ruffled some feathers didn't I? Wasn't my intention, I was merely responding to Oink's claim as Mozart being the greatest composers for opera, he's not. YMMV.

Beethoven didn't pave the road for Wagner, or Mozart to him.They simply belong to a different era. Beethoven wrote one Opera [Fidelio] and wasn't very good,or successful however his symphonies are head and shoulders above Mozart's even though the he wrote 4 times as many as Beethoven did. Yeah I agree Mozart did produce some great works, but as percentage out of his huge body of work he produced, it isn't large. Yes he had childish tunes and arrangements, but that also made it very accessible to the general public of his time and even today, including his employers.
Let's not forget he died at young age [35] and maturity wasn't on his to do list for a long time.

As for the Italians, I'm not gonna argue who's better them or Mozart, but who's played/ and recorded more often today? And a reason I called them stars, because they were at the time, much like a top 40 hit makers today, except in the opera world they still are.

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Old 05-19-2011, 12:51 PM
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This discussion of Mozart reminds me of one of my great opera thrills. in 1959 I saw the Met perform The Marriage of Figaro here in OKC. It was the last time a Met tour ever came here. Georgio Tozzi performed his signature role of Figaro and George London was Count Almaviva. Fortunately, these days we have Live in HD From the Met instead of a tour, which is a more than acceptable substitute. Next season one of the Met's Live in HD productions will be of Don Giovonnni. I already have that one entered in my calendar. Every time I attend a Met Live in HD performance I despair for the future of opera because almost everybody in the house is old, including me. Who will come when we die off? Someone, I hope.
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Old 05-19-2011, 12:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oink View Post

I would not say Mozart is ONLY for beginners.
My point was Mozart is the most accessable.
That is not same as "simplistic."

Right, accessible is probably a better word

Quote:


Unlike many of the great opera composers, Mozart had a serious gift for memorable tunes.
Perhaps this may be what you are referring to?

Yet he wrote no memorable arias, at least not in the league, like "Nessum Dorma" did he?

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Old 05-19-2011, 12:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thehun View Post

I was merely responding to Oink's claim as Mozart being the greatest composers for opera, he's not. YMMV.

Huh?
WHAT?!??????

Mozart wrote MORE operas considered to be "masterpieces" (by musicologists) than any other composer.
Period.

Are their other "masterpiece" operas written by other composers?
ABSOLUTELY!!!
Not for a second would I suggest otherwise (and if I did, I apologize).

Quote:


Beethoven symphonies are head and shoulders above Mozart's even though the he wrote 4 times as many as Beethoven did.

ABSOLUTELY right.
From the Eroica onward, NO ONE has EVER composed better symphonies.
Great symphonies?....yeah, sure.
But nothing on the same level as Beethoven's.
And make that a Period too.
Uh, on second thought, make that a bold and italics Period.

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Old 05-19-2011, 01:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thehun View Post

As for the Italians, I'm not gonna argue who's better them or Mozart, but who's played/ and recorded more often today? And a reason I called them stars, because they were at the time, much like a top 40 hit makers today, except in the opera world they still are.

I think we can agree that it's a fool's errand to argue whether Mozart's operas or those of Verdi, Puccini, et al. are better. Many if not most of the operas of all of them are in in the standard repertory for good reason. They work. They are dramatically exciting and filled with glorious music, so what's not to like? It's shame in this MTV age that so few people are willing to undertake climbing a slight learning curve to experience the matchless thrill provided by great opera.
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Old 05-19-2011, 01:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thehun View Post

Yet he wrote no memorable arias, at least not in the league, like "Nessum Dorma" did he?

HUH????
You're kiddin' me now.

How about the final aria of the Queen of the Night from the Magic Flute?
Or.....
Man, I could go on forever with a list.

Nothing is memorable from Figaro or Don Giovanni or Cosi for you?

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Old 05-19-2011, 01:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwsat View Post

I think we can agree that it's a fool's errand to argue whether Mozart's operas or those of Verdi, Puccini, et al. are better. Many if not most of the operas of all of them are in in the standard repertory for good reason. They work. They are dramatically exciting and filled with glorious music, so what's not to like? It's shame in this MTV age that so few people are willing to undertake climbing a slight learning curve to experience the matchless thrill provided by great opera.

As usual, I couldn't agree more with you.

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Old 05-19-2011, 01:32 PM
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Here is a couple of lists of Mozart vocal music to wade thru....hopefully something will stick for thehun.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of..._Mozart#Operas
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...Amadeus_Mozart



Will finish our little musical conversation later....

Everything is finally starting to thaw out, the trout are hungry, and I gotta go buy a fishing boat.

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Old 05-19-2011, 04:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thehun View Post

Beethoven didn't pave the road for Wagner, or Mozart to him.They simply belong to a different era.

Which is precisely why they paved the road before each other. Different era, different styles, but they are all tied. For example the form of the symphony (sinfonias) before Mozart was very strict, and his later symphonies were going in a much different direction than his earlier work or his baroque predecessors. Same for the concertos. The late piano concertos of Mozart are very, highly, complex (and some of them are just beyond words, both in terms of emotion and quality). This was the foundation that Beethoven expanded in his own work (in his quartets, concertos and of course sonatas). Longer movements, different ways to develop the themes. Different ways to finally instate new rules. After him it was the same pattern. Wagner came in, I'm sure the 9th symphony had some sort of influence on his own work. btw in terms of vocal work, his (Mozart's) religious work has some of the most beautiful music ever written. No italian comes close to this. And don't get me started on Bach. Anyways...

"The most tremendous genius raised Mozart above all masters, in all centuries and in all the arts." - Richard Wagner.


I know we are way off topic here, eventhough Black Swan can't be dissociated from music, but I could talk all days and nights about all this without even remotely getting tired.

Next time I'll stick to Black Swan, promise!
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Old 05-19-2011, 06:01 PM
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Gosh, I feel responisbile for this sidetrack...remind myself...never mention ballet or opera ever again. In the meantime, I heard a Ryan Reynolds interview expressing the hope that the Comicon crowd would sponser his debut in Black Swan 2 as his next project to avoid superhero typecasting. What do you guys think?

I don't lurk as much as I used to and I NEVER listen. Comes from being old and cynical.

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Old 05-19-2011, 06:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwsat View Post

I agree that Portman's Nina was anything but "one dimensional" We saw a beautiful, talented, basically normal girl deteriorate into utter madness under the pressure of the starring role she competed for and ultimately won. Portman's performance was both convincing and heartbreaking.

Kunis wasn't bad but I thought her's was just one more so so performance by a Hollywood beauty, not bad but not especially memorable, either. I am hardly infallible, though. After the first season of Deadwood, I didn't think Timothy Olyphant was very good, either.

I didn't see anything normal about Nina at all. She seemed on the brink from the begining, and just came closer to the edge as the movie progressed. I too, thought her performance was more one dimensional than Mila's and was kinda hard pressed to see why she won an oscar for it. Mila showed a much broader range of emotion, and as someone said before, there was something behind those eyes the whole time. That seemed to be missing from Natalie's performance.

I LOVE MOVIES!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

 

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Old 05-19-2011, 06:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oink View Post

HUH????
You're kiddin' me now.

How about the final aria of the Queen of the Night from the Magic Flute?
Or.....
Man, I could go on forever with a list.

Nothing is memorable from Figaro or Don Giovanni or Cosi for you?

Nope, not really maybe the overture of Magic Flute. Or Papapageno.....

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Old 05-19-2011, 06:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Morpheo View Post

Which is precisely why they paved the road before each other. Different era, different styles, but they are all tied. For example the form of the symphony (sinfonias) before Mozart was very strict, and his later symphonies were going in a much different direction than his earlier work or his baroque predecessors. Same for the concertos. The late piano concertos of Mozart are very, highly, complex (and some of them are just beyond words, both in terms of emotion and quality). This was the foundation that Beethoven expanded in his own work (in his quartets, concertos and of course sonatas). Longer movements, different ways to develop the themes. Different ways to finally instate new rules. After him it was the same pattern. Wagner came in, I'm sure the 9th symphony had some sort of influence on his own work. btw in terms of vocal work, his (Mozart's) religious work has some of the most beautiful music ever written. No italian comes close to this. And don't get me started on Bach. Anyways...

I guess the YMMV doesn't translate to French well, at least to as who you like as a composer. I don't particularly have an issue of who influenced who, my point was simply that if some of the composers didn't exist, doesn't mean the others after them couldn't be equally as good as they were.

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Old 05-19-2011, 06:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oink View Post

Here is a couple of lists of Mozart vocal music to wade thru....hopefully something will stick for thehun.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of..._Mozart#Operas
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...Amadeus_Mozart



Will finish our little musical conversation later....

I see you can use Google search, so how many of those you actually own? I own quiet a bit from Mozart, but not his operas, for reasons already mentioned.

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Old 05-19-2011, 06:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oink View Post

Huh?
WHAT?!??????

Mozart wrote MORE operas considered to be "masterpieces" (by musicologists) than any other composer.
Period.

Please, this is not science, there can be no definitive judgement about this, nor I would buy that all musicologists or even the majority would agree on that point. Nice try!

Quote:



ABSOLUTELY right.
From the Eroica onward, NO ONE has EVER composed better symphonies.
Great symphonies?....yeah, sure.
But nothing on the same level as Beethoven's.
And make that a Period too.
Uh, on second thought, make that a bold and italics Period.

LOL I do agree to some degree but guess what, some others might not at all, but it's all good.

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Old 05-19-2011, 06:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Temple View Post

Gosh, I feel responisbile for this sidetrack...remind myself...never mention ballet or opera ever again. In the meantime, I heard a Ryan Reynolds interview expressing the hope that the Comicon crowd would sponser his debut in Black Swan 2 as his next project to avoid superhero typecasting. What do you guys think?

What's the problem, so the thread went off a little bit it happens all the time, and the movie wasn't that good anyway, right?
Anyway I blame Oink.

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Old 05-19-2011, 07:21 PM
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Whenever I think Beethoven is better than Mozart, I listen to Prokoviev No. 3 and everything blends for a day or so

This discussio' belongs in the wtf forum!!
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Old 05-19-2011, 10:19 PM
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OK, OK, OK.

I'll start a new thread....sheesh.

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Old 05-19-2011, 10:33 PM
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For a long time I have contemplated starting this thread, but wasn't confident there would be much interest.

Well....The Black Swan thread showed me my misgivings were baseless.

Therefore, here we gooooo......

We can talk about anything having to do with Classical Music.
Critique of various recordings?
Yup.
Recommendations of recordings for various repertoire?
Yup.
Performances you have seen?
Yup.
Evaluation of DVDs and BDs and other formats used for recordings?
Yes please.
Critique of performers?
Of composers?
Yup and Yup.
Your favorite recordings and why?
Oh yeah.
Biographical info?
Sure, why not?

Essentially, anything we want to post about Classical Music.
Free-flowing....wherever it leads.

BTW, I have sent Larry a PM asking him to move the OT posts from The Black Swan over here (don't wanna get that thread off-track).

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Old 05-19-2011, 10:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Morpheo View Post

Which is precisely why they paved the road before each other. Different era, different styles, but they are all tied.

Someone once said (I wish it was me) there is no such thing as an original note of music.
Basically, I think it is true (with the possible exception of the first time one of our ancestors picked up a stick and hit a rock a couple of times), but is finely shaded too.

This can be a long discussion....I'll save it for the new thread.

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Old 05-19-2011, 11:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thehun View Post

I see you can use Google search, so how many of those you actually own? I own quiet a bit from Mozart, but not his operas, for reasons already mentioned.

I did a quick count and have ~150 CD disk cases of strictly Mozart (not compilations).
Of course, many of the cases house several disks of works.
All of the major works are represented by more than one recording.
I'm sure I have the vast majority of the Kochel catalog.

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Old 05-19-2011, 11:54 PM
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I'll be following this thread closely, oink. Classically trained violinist until college came along. No DVDs or BDs. All mine are on vinyl and go back a ways.

Since we have to start somewhere, how about finding out what everybody's "go to" piece is to unwind after a long day? I always reach for Brahm's Concerto #2 In B Flat Major, Opus 83 for piano and orchestra, performed by the Vienna State Opera Orchestra.

Let the fun begin.

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Old 05-20-2011, 04:50 AM
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Oink ask me to move some posts from the Black Swan thread and I did. When merged, posts get put in a thread sorted by date so that's why his opening post got pushed down.

I'm going to copy and paste his opening post into the now post #1.

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Old 05-20-2011, 06:53 AM
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Quote:


there is no such thing as an original note of music.

Pretty much what killed the whole tone movement. After a while, it all started sounding the same.

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Old 05-20-2011, 06:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thehun View Post

I guess the YMMV doesn't translate to French well, at least to as who you like as a composer.

Oh it translates quite well yes. I just don't feel the need to put an "imo" at the end of each phrase I'm just discussing here, not trying to convince you in any way. Like you said, we all agree on some points and disagree on others, and it's all good.
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Old 05-20-2011, 08:25 AM
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Originally Posted by thehun View Post

x Beethoven wrote one Opera [Fidelio] and wasn't very good,or successful however his symphonies are head and shoulders above Mozart's even though the he wrote 4 times as many as Beethoven did.

I don't agree with this. Mozart's 40th is as good as any Beethoven symphony, and better than most of them.
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