Wednesday, July 17, 2013

12 Days of Classical

Well, it's been 12 straight days of listening to nothing but classical music for me. Am I supposed to get sick of it soon? Because I haven't been missing modern music at all.

I will admit that I went for a jog last Friday and after a few minutes of listening to Beethoven, I decided I needed something more modern to keep my cardio motivation up. Modern music sounds so different when you haven't been listening to it. I listen to music every single day, usually just in the car but sometimes at home, and always on the drive to Ann Arbor and back. I can barely go a day without listening to something. The station in my car has been set to 75 (Classical Pops) since the 5th.

Obviously my interest in classical music is still young, but it seems like I'm going to end up being a Classical era (1750-1800) and early Romantic (1800-1850) type of girl. I know so far that I like Haydn, Brahms, Vivaldi, Chopin; and I love Beethoven. I downloaded the first half of The 99 Most Essential Beethoven Masterpieces. Every few days I find something new on it I really like. So far I really, really like Sonata No. 14 (all 3 movements), Symphony No. 5, Für Elise (who doesn't?), Sonata No. 5 (first movement), and Symphony No. 6 (first).

I listened to nothing but Symphony No. 5 for about 4 days in a row, and then moved onto Sonata No. 14. I literally cannot get enough. I surprised myself by finding that Beethoven tunes are even getting stuck in my head.

My goal is to peruse all the classical eras so I can figure out exactly what I like. I plan to keep reading about composers and about the pieces I like, so that I can fully appreciate the emotion and message behind them.

My upstairs neighbour has a piano, and I need to go bring her some muffins and hint that I'd really love to hear Sonata No. 14 live, especially the 3rd movement. Maybe I'd be better off bringing her some extra-strength Advil before I ask. Just check this out:

Tell me you don't practically have an aneurysm at how awesome that is. Modern music doesn't even come close to making me as excited as I am when I hear this.

I've been so pumped about classical music these days that I've barely thought about anything else, which is pretty strange for me. It feels great though; like a vacation from my usual introspection.


  1. You might want to check out some of Chopin's mazurkas and polonaises (basically Polish dance tunes). Haydn wrote a crap load of symphonies (at least 108) so lots to choose from there and they are much shorter than they were by Beethoven's time. Vivaldi always a good choice. His 4 Seasons quartets suffer from being over performed and over recorded but you can find lots of good stuff for strings with a bit of digging. Vivaldi is actually a Baroque composer but his influence stretch very far even though he's not a household name today. Even Bach learned from his musical scores. If you want a big symphony sound try Beethoven's 3rd symphony which is viewed by many musicologists as the link from the early classical sound to the big romantic sounds that came later in the 19th century. it's a great piece. Look for something from the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. My personal Beethoven symphony is actually his seventh....I think I'll go find it right now

  2. You might also want to check out Hector Berlioz's "Symphonie Fantastique" if you can find a recording. Big orchestral sound. Technically its tone poem and not a symphony. A tone poem basically has a story behind opera in a sense but no shrieking. Symphonie Fantastique has to do with a young romantic seeking a lost love, constantly catching glimpses before she disappears...then the last movement he climbs a scaffold and gets his head chopped off. Ya, a bit of a downer but definitely a great piece and well worth a listen.



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