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Favorite Classical Melody/Piece?


Tusker

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What's your favorite classical melody or piece?

 

I'm emphasizing melody because of an experience I had recently. I ran across a cassette of Hooked on Classics and thought that would be fun for my kids (3 and 5). Well I fire it up and within minutes my two wonders are cavorting away. We had a one hour session of giggles and sillyness, with this 'surgically enhanced' music blaring away. Well, I couldn't decide if they had bad taste in rhythm (disco) or good taste in melody. Hopefully the latter.

 

The experience gave me a summarized picture of classical melodies, and I thought how wonderfully clever so many of them are. I wonder if you agree. Got any favorites?

 

Jerry

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Do you mean "classical" classical, like in Mozart and Beethoven? If so, trying to pick the best melody out of the plethora of songs out there would be damm tough.

I am currently learning Liebestraum by Lizst. It has a very very nice melody. Can't wait to get this one mastered.

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Bach - 'Sleepers Awake'

Holst - 'Jupiter Hymn' from 'The Planets'

Beethoven - 'Ode to Joy' melody in 9th Symphony

Borodin - String quartet #2 mvmnt. 3 'Notturno' melody was used in the Broadway musical 'Kismet'; song: 'and This Is My Beloved'

Puccini - 'Che gelida manina' from 'La Boheme'

Bizet - any melody from 'Carmen'

Weasels ripped my flesh. Rzzzzzzz.
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Originally posted by Rockitman:

Do you mean "classical" classical, like in Mozart and Beethoven? If so, trying to pick the best melody out of the plethora of songs out there would be damm tough.

I mean "formal" music, which would include a lot more than "classical" (romantic, impressionism, modern, etc.). Yes, it is hard to speak of favorites isn't it? :D

 

Liebestraum is quite beautiful, and melodically simple. Liszt gets pegged as a technician, people tend to forget his romantic instinct.

 

Jerry

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Originally posted by Jerry Aiyathurai:

Liszt gets pegged as a technician, people tend to forget his romantic instinct.

..a romantic technician who totalled almost every piano he sat down to play!

 

I love that Holst hymn too.

 

Rachmaninoff's 18th variation on a theme of Paganini breaks my heart.

"........! Try to make It..REAL! compared to what? ! ! ! " - BOPBEEPER
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Battle on the Ice from Alexander Nevsky: Prokofiev

 

Salon de Mexico: Copeland

 

Intermezzo: Cavilieri Rusticana : Mascagni

 

Pines of Rome : Respighi

 

Gotterdamerung - Wagner

 

Symphony #2 : Dvorak

 

Symphony #7 : Beethoven

 

Jesu Joy of Man's Desire : JS Bach

 

Piano Concerto #1 : Keith Ememrson

 

O Caro Mio Babbo (Gianni Schicci) : Puccini

 

Kroyka : the fight theme from Star Trek!

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Jerry-

 

You should see if the Warner Bros. cartoons "What's Opera, Doc?" and "The Rabbit of Seville" are on DVD. It's something you and your kids would enjoy on different levels. You just have to tell them that Wagner didn't write "Kill the Wabbit! Kill the Wabbit!"

 

My favorite classical melody? It's probably Puccini's "Nessun Dorma" from Turandot.

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Originally posted by tarkus:

[QB]Salon de Mexico: Copeland

MMMmmmmm Solon de Mexico, that piece was a blast when I performed it in a concert band setting.

 

I have a funny memory rehearsing it (besides all the times I jealously laughed at the trumpet player that took the solo). One time our clarinet taking the solo at the beginning tore it up for most of the solo and then played one note that was way off and said awwww @#$%@#.

 

About a week later he was strangely missing when we were rehearsing that piece and the band director hummed most of his solo when he should've been there to play it and then took a dramatic pause and said awww @#$^@# and he pretended to throw a clarinet on the ground. Then he cued us up to come back in.

 

Man if you can play the time signitures on that piece, you're set, I dont think I'll see measures alternating between 2+3/8 and 3+2/8 interjected with 7/8 ever again.

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Stravinsky - Firebird (suite), Symphony In C

Ravel - Daphnis Et Chloe (suite), Pavanne For A Dead Princess

Debussy - Images, La Mer, Prélude A L'Apres-Midi D'un Faune

Bach - Branderbourg Concertos, Mass in B-Minor, Tocatta and Fugue, Goldberg Variations etc

Bartok - Music for Strings, Percussion & Celesta

Borodin - In The Steppes Of Central Asia, Polovtsian Dances, Prince Igor

Mascagni - intermezzo from Cavalleria Rusticana

Mussorgsky - Pictures At An Exhibition (Ravel Orch.)

Beethoven - fifth, ninth symphony

http://www.babic.com - music for film/theatre, audio-post
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Hey Al, I probably play 64 #2 more than any song I know. It's a great warmup piece to boot. I used to play the Pia Mosso part too loud and over time have learned to play it much softer which of course makes the part sound so much nicer. Of course, if you're gonna play 64 #2, you gotta also play #1. Not too tough to play technically, but to play it at proper blinding fast speed, that's another story.
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I love the Satie stuff, Chopin of course, Debussy - espescially 'La Mer', and Dvoraks American symphony, the Largo reminds me of Bacharach - or the other way around. :idea: Messiaen always moves me with his early Brazilian influences, and Händel´s 'Israel in Egypt' contains some of the nicest chord progressions I´ve ever heard. I´m a sucker for late romanticism, the Russian five, and all the impressionists. Among the modern composers, I dig Copeland and Cage. Interesting topic, I´ve never quite thought of it this way before!
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I assume this means our favorite 'melodies' from classical pieces, or best 'melodic' classical tunes.

 

William Byrd: Coranto. A wonderful example of pre-baroque melodic composition.

 

Haendel: Passacaglia in G min.

 

Scarlatti: Lots of sonatas are melodically wonderful - I have a preference for the famous one in D min., in 6/8. Can't remember the number, sorry.

 

Bach: Too many to mention. My favorite (in *all* music, maybe) is the three-part Invention in Eb. The beginning of the Magnificat also comes to mind.

 

Mozart: Ha... How can you choose *one* Mozart melody? Let's say the Queen of Night air from the Magic Flute, and the Andante in G from the Sonata in C K545... And the Lacrimosa from the Requiem - no wait, *all* the Requiem... and...

 

Beethoven: As pure melody, to me the Sixth Symphony is an endless resource. Melodic and hummable from beginning to end, like a long, ever-evolving song. Also, the middle movement of the Patetique is a classic among classics. :)

 

Chopin: The usual suspect; Etude in E, Berceuse, Polonaise in Ab... I would add all four Scherzi, maybe the most 'controlled' Chopin pieces, in the sense of a perfect form.

 

Schumann: I love the Arabesque and Forest Scenes more than the more famous Carnaval or Papillons.

 

Schubert: He's the melody itself, but the beginning of Fantasy in F min. for piano four hands always hits me hard.

 

Brahms: Not the best melodist maybe, but a few things like the Capriccio in B min. for piano (horribly difficult to play, BTW) are highly melodic. I also absolutely love the Intermezzi in A and Bb min.

 

Satie: Gymnopedies, Gnossiennes. My favorite Gnossiennes are in G and F min. Also check the poem "Socrates".

 

Debussy: Le Plus que Lente, many songs

 

Ravel: If by chance you've never heard the three songs from "Don Chisciotte a Dulcinea" (not sure about the French spelling), please do it soon, and treat yourself to some of the most touching music ever written by an human being. Also, "Popular Greek Songs", and, of course, "Bolero".

 

Bartok: "Rumanian Folk Dances" of course, but also the orchestral "Dance Suite". What can I say... I adore his music.

 

Hindemith: A good part of Hindemith's music, except his beginning, is highly melodic, but of varying quality... The exception is the poem cycle "Marienlieben" (from Rilke). If you can find the version with Glenn Gould and Elizabeth Schwarzop, it's breathtaking.

 

Rimsky-Korsakof: There's the usual Sad Song from Sadko, one of the most original songs in all literature.

 

Mussorgsky: Boris Godunov

 

Tchaikowsky: Piano Concerto n.1 - hummable like an opera!

 

Strawinsky: Firebird

 

Ives: The Unanswered Question. The melodic "question" played by the solo trumpet is one of the most chilling musical motifs of all time.

 

Berio: Folksongs. Another little-known masterwork from an important musician who died recently. The recording he did with Cathy Berberian is undescribable. Fantastic.

 

Stockhausen: Melody in Stockhausen?! Check the cycle "Tierkreis", originally written for music boxes (!) - it's quite 'plain' and melodic.

 

etc. etc.

 

Originally posted by tarkus:

O Caro Mio Babbo (Gianni Schicci) : Puccini

That's "O Mio Babbino Caro" and it's wonderful. I also subscribe for "Pines of Rome"; lot of great melodies there! :thu:

 

...Whew...

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Lots of great replies...many of my faves in there.

 

A few more classical pieces that have melodies I love:

 

Danse Macabre - Saint-Saens

Scheherezade - Rimsky-Korsakov

Sinfonia to Cantata #29 - J.S. Bach

Pathetique - Beethoven

The Bell Song from Lakmé - Delibés

Concierto de Aranjuez - Rodrigo

Piano concerto in A minor - Grieg

Die Moldau - Smetana

 

dB

:snax:

 

:keys:==> David Bryce Music • Funky Young Monks <==:rawk:

 

Professional Affiliations: Royer LabsMusic Player Network

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Originally posted by marino:

Originally posted by tarkus:

O Caro Mio Babbo (Gianni Schicci) : Puccini

That's "O Mio Babbino Caro" and it's wonderful. I also subscribe for "Pines of Rome"; lot of great melodies there! :thu:

 

...Whew...

I think what I wrote translates into " My dear little rum pastrie"
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MacDowell - To a Wild Rose.

 

Wagner - Ride of the Valkyries ("Kill the Wabbit!" from What's Opera, Doc?) also, the Overture to Lohengrin.

 

Copeland's "Fanfare for the Common Man."

 

Tchaikovsky - Romeo & Juliet, but watch out: I played this for my kids when they were too young, and the "stormy" sections freaked 'em out!!

 

http://www.animationusa.com/picts/wbpict/2_Whats-Opera-Giclee.jpg

"If more of us valued food, cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world." - J. R. R. Tolkien
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If I limit myself to keyboard works, my top two pieces would be:

1. Chopin, E Major Etude, Op. 10 No. 3

2. J. S. Bach, Sinfonia No. 2 in C minor

"Playing the piano is my greatest joy, next to my wife; it is my most absorbing interest, next to my work." ...Charles Cooke
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I definately would have to say Camille Saint-saens' Organ Symphony, as performed in 1959 in Symphony Hall, Boston, with Charles Munch conducting, and Berj Zamkochian as the organist. The Adagio part was always my favorite, but this performance gave it FEELING and emotion that is lacking in all versions I've heard since then.

Best Regards,

 

Mark A. Weiss, P.E.

www.ampexperts.com

-

 

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Originally posted by tarkus:

Originally posted by marino:

Originally posted by tarkus:

O Caro Mio Babbo (Gianni Schicci) : Puccini

That's "O Mio Babbino Caro" and it's wonderful. I also subscribe for "Pines of Rome"; lot of great melodies there! :thu:

 

...Whew...

I think what I wrote translates into " My dear little rum pastrie"
Eh... no, what you wrote is correct from a grammar point of view, it's just that the title of that air has the words in a different order, plus a diminutive suffix ("Babbino"). The rum pastry is a "babà" (a speciality from Neaples). :D:D:D
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Originally posted by TheFunkman:

Copeland's "Fanfare for the Common Man."

I'd like to add my vote here... I've always thought it's an incredible tune. (The original, not the ELP version)

Tchaikovsky - Romeo & Juliet, but watch out: I played this for my kids when they were too young, and the "stormy" sections freaked 'em out!!

He... you could always try to play them the Prokofiev ballet with the same title instead. In fact, I prefer it to the Tchaikowsky... :):P

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Originally posted by TrancedelicBlues:

I think it's the one that goes:

 

RH: Doodle doodle doodle doo doo doooo

 

LH: Bum Bum Bum Bummm

 

RH: Do do do dooo

 

LH: Bum Bum Bum Bummm

 

RH: Do do do dooo...

 

(silence, then repeat)

 

does anyone recognise that one? I think it's a beethoven piece :confused:

:D That's Beethoven's Fur Elise.
"........! Try to make It..REAL! compared to what? ! ! ! " - BOPBEEPER
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