I'm retired and as I get older, classical music means more and more to me. Take this song by Greig; it brings your close to nature. Modern music doesn't do that.

Hector Berlioz, Guissepie Verdie, Johannes Brahms, and Gabriel Faure were atheists. It's not all church music.

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Replies to This Discussion

Don't forget Beehoven :-) I hear he was an atheist too.
Heh. Poor Beethoven couldn't hear he was an atheist himself, he'd sure be happy someone took care of that. ;-)
Cute. Lol.
Many others probably were but the times were tought against non-believers.

I was happy to learn about Verdi. That composer I know for sure. His wife/mistress Guiseppini Strepponi tried to convert for years, but he never reneged.

Are you into Beethoven? I consider him the greatest of all. He brought on the Romantic Period. I'd be glad to discuss this wonderful material with you.

Who's your favorite composer?
Are you into Beethoven? I consider him the greatest of all. He brought on the Romantic Period. I'd be glad to discuss this wonderful material with you.

Who's your favorite composer?

It's been a very long time since I've listened.

I played classical piano when I was a kid and my favorite at that time was Beethoven. Not just because of his music but because he composed after he went deaf.

He was an inspiration to me because of that.

I've seen the occasional opera (Merry Widow and Aida) and some operettas, again a long time ago.

And used to go to the Ballet (my preference).

Life got in the way of my enjoyment of those particular pleasures so I'm not sure I could get into an educated discussion with anyone anymore.

My musical tastes are very eclectic but I haven't listened to much classical lately.

Although this thread may motivate me to re-start :-).
Trance, not only that he was deaf. Beethoven was born during the American Revolution and greatly inspired by it. His only opera Fidelio is a tribute to freedom. Catch a Leonora Overture (there's four I think) and listen for the trumpet call toward the finish.

The Ninth is considered one of the three greatest musical works (along with the Massiah and Wagner's Ring) by scholars.

I consider him the greatest because he brought on the new age—romanticism.
Thanks for that information Richard. I wasn't aware of that.

I'll look for those works you suggested :-)
Trance, nothing makes the point about Beethoven’s love of freedom better than the Fourth Movement of the Fifth Symphony. He read Thomas Paine and felt that the common man was capable of governing himself. A wild idea in those days.

You know that picture of the returning revolutionaries marching with the fife and bugle corps in bloody rags. The fifer is an old guy with a bloody bandana. In the last movement the flute takes over, playing a rousing march to freedom. You can actually hear the fifer with this beautiful melody.

Mozart died in 1785 at age 35. His last works hint of the romanticism. He was in the classical period, whereby everything was very orderly. Family structures were tight and arranged marriages common. The father was king and people had little chance to change their lives. All paintings maintain a rigid order. Parallel lines were dominant. Geometric shapes and forms were well defined.

Consider the famous painting, The Oath of the Horatii by David in 1784, the year before Mozart died. This is formidable classical art.

Notice the strong parallels in the columns and the tiles on the floor. The geometric sharps are essential: the ladies form a near perfect equilateral triangle on the left and the three sons form an inescapable trapezoid. The lance held by the son nearest us is a very important line. It runs perfectly parallel to his right leg and defines the left side of the trapezoid.

What is important is that the classical period is characterized by rigid order, in all aspects life. Consider the mathematical precision of J.S. Bach. Every “i” was dotted and “t” crossed. Handel wrote music for a king.

Next: changes brought on by the Romantic Movement, initiated by Beethoven.
He read Thomas Paine and felt that the common man was capable of governing himself. A wild idea in those days.

Fascinating. I wasn't aware of that. I'll have to pick up a biography.

Very interesting. I'm looking forward to more.
Since you like the Romance era, you might like this.

Karen Kain, a Canadian, was my favorite Prima Ballerina when I used to go to the Ballet.

Here she is dancing to Giselle. Unfortunately embedding has been disabled in this one so you'll have to view it using the link

Giselle with Karen Kain
Lovely. I'm not into ballet as much as opera but I did see some beauties in my time. Adolph Adam was strictly a ballet writer, but Leo Delibes wrote a beautiful opera called Lakme. I have it on order from Netflix as I write this.

One of the few times I ever cried at a performance—and most operas are tragedies—was at a ballet. That’s how much emotional impact the art form can have.

The ballet was The Prodigal Son by Prokofiev at the Met. When the wayward son came literally crawling back to the father at the end it was very touching. My lady friend even cried.

Here's one of my favorite duets in all opera. By Leo Delibes. Catch the splendid melody that enters at 1:22 into the video. They don't make 'em and better.

A lot of people consider Joan Sutherland to be the greatest of the century—technically speakng.
Thanks much for the link. This interpretation is a classic but it's the first time I can actually see them performing.

Another very popular women duo: Pur ti miro, pur ti godo. Many, many good versions of this one too - so I'll choose originality and select this one, featuring two of my favorite young singers of the moment: Nuria Rial & Philippe Jaroussky (in a role usually reserved to female singers), plus Pluhar's Arpeggiata (a very interesting and unconventional ensemble of plucked string instruments). I thought there was another version of them performing live but I couldn't locate it.




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