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#561174 - 01/04/08 04:52 PM Make them like it
Lento Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/07/07
Posts: 50
Loc: Canada
This is kinda inspired by the "can our little world be saved thread"
If you wanted to get someone to like classical music, and they agreed to listen to 1 piece, which piece would you get them listen to?
I think I'd chose Beethoven's 5th Piano Concerto

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#561175 - 01/04/08 05:17 PM Re: Make them like it
Jimmo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/31/07
Posts: 67
Loc: United Kingdom
I suppose it's contrary to the spirit of the question to suggest Procol Harum's renowned 1967 hit "A Whiter Shade of Pale"? \:\)

I only half-jest. The distinctive organ obbligato is not only reminiscent of well known classical works but the overall piece could be compared to a baroque aria.

Less facetiously, I would probably go with something like Canon de Pachelbel.
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#561176 - 01/04/08 05:24 PM Re: Make them like it
Kreisler Offline



Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13780
Loc: Iowa City, IA
"The Lads in their Hundreds" by George Butterworth. Text from "A Shropshire Lad" by A.E. Housman.

Sung by Bryn Terfel.

I played this for a class of 40 music appreciation students at a community college. This was in the late 90's, and many of them had known people who had fought in the Gulf War.

It made perfect sense to them.

http://www.bartleby.com/123/23.html

We then moved on to Mozart's Nozze di Figaro. I asked them two questions:

1) What is he doing? (Finding a Place for the Bed)
2) What is she doing? (Trying on Clothes)

Then I said "see why they call it a soap opera."

The entire class demanded we watch the rest of the opera the next day.
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"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

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#561177 - 01/04/08 05:36 PM Re: Make them like it
Kreisler Offline



Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13780
Loc: Iowa City, IA
I also have another presentation that I've used several times where I use German expressionist art to introduce the music of Schoenberg (Verklaerte Nacht) and Berg (Violin Concerto.)

With the introduction and slide show I wrote, I had a class of 72 students, none of whom were music majors, listen intently to the whole 20 minutes of Schoenberg.

The short version of the introduction was this - Freud believed that much of what you do and feel is motivated by things beneath your conscious mind. German expressionism sought to explore the subconscious by playing with the surface images of things. So if a person is sad, you capture it by painting them blue instead of flesh-colored. If music expresses a difficult or tortured emotion, you make it sound difficult or tortured. These composers wanted to capture something about a person's inner feelings. If you've never felt conflicted or strong emotions, none of this music will make sense to you, and you're free to leave.

None did.
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"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

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#561178 - 01/04/08 06:04 PM Re: Make them like it
Loki Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/09/05
Posts: 1035
Loc: Texas
Beethoven Appassionata Sonata

It is a great piece that is relatively easier to understand and the third movement is spectacular. Of course, this is only a guess at a piece I would hope would work.

A problem with picking the piece is it has to speak to the listener and, of course, every listener will have different taste in what appeals to him/her.
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#561179 - 01/04/08 06:08 PM Re: Make them like it
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
Barber's Adagio for Strings is somewhat transcendent for 'quiet' listeners
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#561180 - 01/04/08 08:19 PM Re: Make them like it
John Citron Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 3925
Loc: Haverhill, Massachusetts
I've given virginal a recital at the local community college for their music appreciation course. I used the music from a volume called "English Passe Tyme Musick", which was music that was jotted down quickly by the musicians when they visited the local watering hole.

I went on to explain that many of the popular songs in the day were then transcribed for various instruments including the keyboard instrument that I was playing.

After that I moved into the later periods up to Scarlatti since my instrument has a range of 4-1/2 octaves (C/E-f''') with a short octave in the bass, and discussed the structure of suites and sonatas. They actually had a quiz on it, and all did very well.

Long after the demonstration I did, the instructor informed me that the students couldn't stop talking about it for the rest of the semester.

This shows that if "classical" music is introduced to people, they can enjoy it.

John
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#561181 - 01/04/08 09:25 PM Re: Make them like it
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11764
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Something fun. I think that many people who are against classical music have a preconceived notion that it is just all about being serious. Sure, there's that, but there's the fun stuff too. I'd probably have them listen to Gilbert & Sullivan's "I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major General" or something. If we're talking piano rep, Bartok's Dances in Bulgarian Rhythms from Mikrokosmos 6 is usually a great hit.
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#561182 - 01/04/08 10:57 PM Re: Make them like it
classik51 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/24/07
Posts: 77
Loc: Canada
I would have said Beethoven's Appassionata sonata, but recently I was listening to it with a couple of friends who did not like it at all. I thought no one could possibly not like such a beautiful piece, but I guess I was wrong.

Pachelbel's Canon in D always seems to appeal to people, as well as Fur Elise. For the latter, I simply heard (and played) it way too many times to really appreciate it anymore but there's a reason why it's such a popular piece.

But if it comes down to one, I would pick Fantasie Impromptu.

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#561183 - 01/04/08 11:12 PM Re: Make them like it
classik51 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/24/07
Posts: 77
Loc: Canada
No wait, I changed my mind. I would definitely get them to see that "Rachmaninoff had big hands" video on youtube or something by those two guys, at least. They are hilarious.

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#561184 - 01/05/08 02:45 PM Re: Make them like it
whippen boy Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 3886
Loc: San Francisco
I have to confess that this Mendelssohn Caprice (Scherzo) was one of the first pieces that captivated my attention (at age 6 or 7).

It was on a little 45 record, and I played it over and over. It worked for me! \:\)

In any event, I would choose a short piece (not a Concerto), and something that is fast and rhythmic.
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#561185 - 01/05/08 02:51 PM Re: Make them like it
C H O P I N Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/13/07
Posts: 310
Loc: England
Watching my uncle play Fantasie Impromptu was what made me want to play piano - so my vote goes to that!

C H O P I N
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#561186 - 01/05/08 03:13 PM Re: Make them like it
Janus K. Sachs Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/31/07
Posts: 1710
Loc: Betelgeuse, baby!
Shouldn't this depend on the individual one is exposing classical music to? I mean, a carefree youth of seven might respond to Mozart's Turkish Rondo, while an uber-angsty sixteen year old might go for, oh, Beethoven's Appassionata, or even Schoenberg's First Quartet (gasp!). Age, personality, and intelligence must all be taken into account, methinks.
Kreisler, your methods are wonderful and show a great understanding of pedagogy. You won't mind if I use these methods someday, do you Kappelmeister?
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Die Predigt vergessen.

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#561187 - 01/05/08 07:18 PM Re: Make them like it
blacvi Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/11/07
Posts: 48
Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsodies, maybe? Everybody's heard No.2 from somewhere or another.

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#561188 - 01/05/08 07:28 PM Re: Make them like it
TheIshter Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/28/07
Posts: 31
 Quote:
Originally posted by blacvi:
Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsodies, maybe? Everybody's heard No.2 from somewhere or another. [/b]
I would let them listen to No.2. It's been in cartoons since who knows when.
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#561189 - 01/05/08 11:25 PM Re: Make them like it
tomasino Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/24/05
Posts: 2039
Loc: Minneapolis, Minnesota
I'd start with Tschaikowsky--even if I have no idea how to spell his name--the obvious ones, Nutcracker, Swan Lake.

The newbie might be suspicious though, as Tschaikowsky is so beautiful and so approachable, that even some of us who have loved classical for our whole lives can't quite believe it's not Montavani. You'll just have to reassure them that it really is classical.

Then send them on their way to something like The Moldau, or Dvorak opus 96, the American Quintet.

Tomasino
_________________________
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#561190 - 01/06/08 03:20 AM Re: Make them like it
Antonius Hamus Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/24/05
Posts: 2230
The last movement of Beethoven's D minor piano sonata. That would be one piece to them. If the person played bass guitar, my choice might be different, probably the prelude from the C minor cello suite (Bach). I'd say he could try to play it with his bass, as indeed I have done, and as indeed he has done (with laudable results, notwithstanding the loss of nuance).

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#561191 - 01/06/08 05:23 AM Re: Make them like it
F minor Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/24/07
Posts: 35
Loc: Canada
I'd start with the Aria of the Goldberg Variations, however far back it is. It sounds simple enough to the uninitiated, and in its apparently simplistic beauty sleeps the sublime. I think that's a pretty good start!

EDIT: Actually, I'm thinking more of a short Scarlatti sonata; perhaps the K. 350. It's very beautiful! I remember the first classical piece ever given to us at age 7 (or so) in a music room at school was the overture to the Magic Flute. That might be a good start for the younger ones!
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#561192 - 01/06/08 09:32 AM Re: Make them like it
GlennGouldGirl Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/20/07
Posts: 12
Loc: Granby,MA
The easily digestible pieces I have exhibited to classical novices (a concept akin to musical novices), which received immediate good feedback, were: Chopin Preludes, Handel's Water Music, Mozart's Requiem in D minor, Edelmenn's First Clavichord Sonata, Brahm's German Requiem (the second movement), Vivaldi's Four Seasons (ugh), Debussy's Claire De Lune (which sparked my interest in classical music as a child), Schubert's Impromptu's Opus 90, D 899 (especially in A flat major), Mozart's Fantasie in D minor (I usually perform this one), etc.

Whomever suggested Pachabel's Canon in D is committing an atrocious musical crime. This piece is a monstrosity which does not even deserve the slightest bit of attention from classical connoisseurs. It serves no good musical purpose. It is MUSAK, sinful.
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#561193 - 01/06/08 10:04 AM Re: Make them like it
GlennGouldGirl Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/20/07
Posts: 12
Loc: Granby,MA
I hope I do not offend too many people with that previous comment. \:\)
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#561194 - 01/06/08 10:28 AM Re: Make them like it
Jimmo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/31/07
Posts: 67
Loc: United Kingdom
 Quote:
Originally posted by GlennGouldGirl:
I hope I do not offend too many people with that previous comment. \:\) [/b]
Not at all. However the initial premise of the thread isn't aimed at connaisseurs. I'm not sure going for something sublime is necessarily going to be that effective. Most people can't appreciate fine wines on first tasting or fine art on first viewing either - they need to "work up" to it and develop the taste.

\:\)
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#561195 - 01/06/08 10:50 AM Re: Make them like it
Phlebas Offline


Registered: 01/02/03
Posts: 4654
Loc: New York City
I don't think it matters as much what the piece is, but how it is presented. For that reason, I would do something more in line with what Kreisler did. A lot of people don't like or haven't tried listening to classical music because they don't understand it, or know what it's about.

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#561196 - 01/06/08 10:57 AM Re: Make them like it
Happy Birthday Stanza Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/18/02
Posts: 1458
Loc: Chapel Hill, NC
Dvorak's New World Symphony (9th)is was quite popular with my teenagers. It evokes visions of great plains, majestic mountains, muscular cities, natives and settlers, etc.

The second movement of Beethovens Pathetique has one of the prettiest melodies ever written, and people enjoy good melodies.
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#561197 - 01/06/08 02:32 PM Re: Make them like it
GlennGouldGirl Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/20/07
Posts: 12
Loc: Granby,MA
 Quote:
Originally posted by Jimmo:
 Quote:
Originally posted by GlennGouldGirl:
I hope I do not offend too many people with that previous comment. \:\) [/b]
Not at all. However the initial premise of the thread isn't aimed at connaisseurs. I'm not sure going for something sublime is necessarily going to be that effective. Most people can't appreciate fine wines on first tasting or fine art on first viewing either - they need to "work up" to it and develop the taste.

\:\) [/b]
Yes, I am quite aware of that. I meant that the Canon in D should never be used for anything! A classical musician would never prudently think Pachabel, the one hit wonder, an adequate commencement or exposure to the world of classical music for anyone. Though people do not initially assimilate sophisticated pieces, especially with an untrained ear, does not mean they should initially be victim to puerile pieces. It is condescending.
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#561198 - 01/06/08 03:58 PM Re: Make them like it
Jimmo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/31/07
Posts: 67
Loc: United Kingdom
 Quote:
Originally posted by GlennGouldGirl:
Yes, I am quite aware of that. I meant that the Canon in D should never be used for anything! A classical musician would never prudently think Pachabel, the one hit wonder, an adequate commencement or exposure to the world of classical music for anyone. Though people do not initially assimilate sophisticated pieces, especially with an untrained ear, does not mean they should initially be victim to puerile pieces. It is condescending. [/b]
...in your opinion.

I don't mean to defend the merits or otherwise of the piece, it's not one I particularly like either (not sure I'd let my dislike of the piece spill over into declaring it should be banned for any use, but let me know how that works out \:\) ).

The reality is, though, that it is quite well known. All too often people don't realise that the cheesy bit of music they happen to like (sometimes, shudder, from their wretched ring tone) is "classical". I don't think a lighthearted thread about suggesting a single piece was ever going to suggest an "adequate commencement or exposure" anyway.

In any case, I don't care anywhere near enough to argue about it.
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#561199 - 01/08/08 01:02 AM Re: Make them like it
1RC Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/06
Posts: 500
Loc: Alberta
I like to give a little background information on the piece. What was happening in the composers life, perhaps some info on the music (a minuet is... allegro means...Bach gave these types of pieces to his students...), once I gave a little example of sonata form to good effect.

I've also learned some of the well-known pieces for the purpose of hooking a listeners ear, because everyone is well disposed to familiarity. From there I can relate it to a lesser known piece. After playing fur elise "here's something else by Beethoven you might enjoy" and I play the Andante from the pastorale sonata...

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#561200 - 01/08/08 07:13 AM Re: Make them like it
DestinysPuppet Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/16/07
Posts: 41
Loc: Argentina
Besides the piece, it's much, much better if it's a live concert. Listening to the Apassionata (for example) on CD is plain BORING when compared to watching it performed live. Something about the piano rocking forwards and backwards and the perspiration of the interpreter appeals to the visceral side of the neofite, and they get the music. The bad part is that when they buy the CD, they may be disappointed.

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#561201 - 01/08/08 08:55 AM Re: Make them like it
Arabesque Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/16/05
Posts: 549
Loc: Japan
I would guess that for today's audiences it is often best to introduce classical music as a movie theme but without the movie. The Dvorak 9th symphony is great for that and also the Planets by Holst. These pieces are good for the reason they have strong themes and tell a story which can absorb the listener.

Others include the Rossini overtures such as William Tell, Tchaikovsky overture to Romeo and Juliet and 1812 Overture.

You may give some background information to the listener and point out a particular motif and what it describes and also ask the audience to listen for other motifs and try to interpret them. Many people have never had anyone really try and relate the music to them so they see it all as elite and intellectual. And yes, I agree with the above poster that it is a curse of our times that people hear bastardised versions of these great classics and assume them to be the same. And also that the classical music industry is not really doing anything other than selling to the converted. But don't preach or teach. Just throw away the fake diamond tiara and tux.
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