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#2076439 - 05/03/13 05:30 AM Learning to listen
Dulcetta Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/11/11
Posts: 75
Loc: U.K.
Hi, I am an adult beginner but would appreciate your advice.
I grew up listening to celtic folk, ballet music and some ragtime. I have read and understand the advice to listen to classical piano to aid in my overall learning. I have also read that the choice of performer, not just composer, is important.
I am sure buying more than one and listening to the different approaches would be ideal, but my budget won't stretch to that just yet. I will need to build up a collection slowly.

In the meantime I would like to know which performer/composer match do you recommend I buy first, e.g Mozart piano sonatas, Eschenbach or Mitsuko Uchida ? Goldberg variations , Gould or Schiff ?
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#2076443 - 05/03/13 05:57 AM Re: Learning to listen [Re: Dulcetta]
bennevis Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5127
You live in the UK, so why not, instead of spending £££ on lots of CDs or browsing through dubious YouTube clips, just turn on the radio - BBC Radio 3, to be exact? www.bbc.co.uk/radio3

On digital radio (more so than FM), you get excellent quality sound, expert commentary on the music, lots of free concerts by great artists etc, etc - e.g. last night, there was an excellent live performance of Beethoven's 'Emperor' Concerto. And on Saturday mornings between 9am and 12.15pm, there's CD Review which compares and contrasts recordings of works to find the 'best' (in the reviewer's opinion) for your CD library, plus reviews of all the latest classical releases on CD, DVD and Blue-Ray.

I acquired 90% of my 'music education' via Radio 3 over several decades - the other 10% being from reading and studying (my degree at university had nothing to do with music, but I found I knew much more about classical music than most of the music students I encountered - simply because I listened exclusively to Radio 3).

For a starter collection on CD for piano, I recommend the complete Beethoven piano sonatas and piano concertos, Mozart's piano sonatas and piano concertos no.17-27, Bach's Goldberg.....and that's just for starters. As for performers, everyone has their own favourites, but the names you mentioned are fine.
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"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."

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#2076448 - 05/03/13 06:25 AM Re: Learning to listen [Re: Dulcetta]
bennevis Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5127
Originally Posted By: Dulcetta
I have also read that the choice of performer, not just composer, is important.


I'd say that choice of performer isn't as important as you might think, unless you happen to choose someone very odd grin. (Some say Gould is very odd.....).

For a very cheap CD set of Beethoven piano sonatas and concertos, there's Daniel Barenboim' complete set on EMI, which is pretty good. (You might even be able to get the complete symphonies in the same box too, in somewhat old-fashioned performances conducted by Klemperer).

Also as cheap is Barenboim's complete Mozart piano sonatas and concertos. Or you can try Uchida's more modern performances of the same. Her Schubert and Schumann is good too, as are Radu Lupu's.
_________________________
"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."

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#2076538 - 05/03/13 09:59 AM Re: Learning to listen [Re: bennevis]
Dulcetta Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/11/11
Posts: 75
Loc: U.K.
Thanks for taking the time to reply Bennevis, your advice is much appreciated. BBC3 has a new listener. smile
_________________________
It will be happened; it shall be going to be happening; it will be was an event that could will have been taken place in the future. Simple as that.

Top
#2076545 - 05/03/13 10:14 AM Re: Learning to listen [Re: Dulcetta]
bennevis Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5127
Also, on BBC 4 (TV) on Friday evenings, there's usually a classical music programme between 7.30pm and 9pm. Tonight, there's a feature on the great Sir Colin Davis, fine conductor of Beethoven and Berlioz - the former's Missa Solemnis is being broadcast. In past weeks, there were piano concertos from the Proms, Chopin played by Freddy Kempf and Alfredo Perl, and programmes on Hubert Parry (presented by HRH Prince Charles) and Elgar, and a Placido Domingo concert.......

Also tonight, following the classical music, there's two hours of, er, Elton John. How did a classical pianist turn into a rock star, then into pseudo-royalty? Find out.......oops, I'm beginning to sound like a BBC announcer grin www.bbc.co.uk/bbc4
_________________________
"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."

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#2076554 - 05/03/13 10:21 AM Re: Learning to listen [Re: Dulcetta]
JoelW Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4781
Loc: USA
When someone like you is trying to dive into classical music, it really won't matter at first whether you listen to Horowitz or Rubinstein (two totally different personalities). All that matters is that you're being exposed to quality performances. And with any major recording artist, you will get that.

My advice on listening is just to simply listen. Don't force anything on you. Put on a piece, sit back, and let yourself take from it what you can. And keep in mind, the more the merrier. If you listen to something once, maybe twice or even more, and you find yourself simply not understanding what is going on, keep listening. Sometimes it takes me a solid ten or more listens before the music "gets under my skin" so to speak. I think of it as architecture. The first time you walk into a huge, complex building, you aren't going to know where the heck you are or how to get anywhere in that building. But after enough time and experience with that building, you will know it backwards and front like the palm of your hand. So don't let anything overwhelmingly complex put you off.

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#2076602 - 05/03/13 11:27 AM Re: Learning to listen [Re: JoelW]
Dulcetta Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/11/11
Posts: 75
Loc: U.K.
Originally Posted By: JoelW


The first time you walk into a huge, complex building, you aren't going to know where the heck you are or how to get anywhere in that building.


Yep exactly, and that is why I asked for advice. I understand what you are saying about letting the music be absorbed slowly. It is why I want to start listening now and become familiar with the different styles. I want to develop a decent overall picture and knowledge of classical music beyond the ballet stuff I grew up with. I am housebound and not a tv watcher, so have plenty of time to have background music playing, and I love repetition, lol.

Thanks again Mr.BBC announcer, lol, I will enjoy finding out where my licence fee goes, wink . I have been listening to Uchida's recording of Mozart's piano sonatas ( Philip's cd collection), on a music streaming site today and think it will be my first purchase.
_________________________
It will be happened; it shall be going to be happening; it will be was an event that could will have been taken place in the future. Simple as that.

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