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Classical Music guide addendum December 14, 2011

Posted by intellectualgridiron in Pop Culture.
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         The biggest reason why I wrote my previous blog entry was to help guide beginners to “Classical” music on what is “safe,” if not outright enjoyable, and what is not.  If it’s not safe, it’s not going to be enjoyable, though if it is safe, that does not automatically mean one will be apt to enjoy it, either.
         But in any event, there are other composers from the three different periods (quick recap:  Baroque, Classical, and Romance) that went unmentioned that are worth a little virtual ink.  Those include — for Baroque — Couperin, Gabrieli, and Georg Philipp Telemann (whose music might merit its own article in the future!).  Although Mozart and Haydn are the two most important Classical period composers by far, there are still others worth listening to as well, namely Luigi Boccherini, and J.S. Bach’s sons — Wilhelm Friedemann, Johann Christian, and Carl Phillipp Emanuel.  In fact, you might be familiar with Boccherini’s work and not even know it.  He did, after all, compose this famous minuet that one can hear in the background during the “Chez Quis” restaurant sequence in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.
           Even though I am not the most inclined towards the music of the Romantic period, there are definitely some “safe,” if not downright interesting compositions to hear, namely the music of  Brahms, Schubert (to an extent, at least!) and Mendelssohn.  Brahms is notable in that he breathed new life into Classical forms during the mid-19th Century.  Mendelssohn is notable in that he revived interest in the works of J.S. Bach during the early half of the 19th Century, which generated the momentum for the permanent interest in the Father of Composers to this day.  Oh, and he also wrote the melody to “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.”
       It is not as if serious music died as the Gregorian Calendar flipped its odometer to the year 1900.  Indeed, Americans make a mark on serious music in the early 20th Century, such as the obvious (George Gershwin), or the not-so-obvious to the previously uninformed (Gottschalk, or Charles Ives).  Outside of the states, the music gets dicey.  Some composers’ music, such as that of Prokofiev (who wrote “Peter and the Wolf”) or Shostakovich, while others are decidedly unsafe.  When it comes to Penderecki or Schoenberg, avoidthem at all costs!  Their “music” was a textbook example of why it is never a good idea to “out-think the room” when it comes to this art form!  Illum dictum, more installments are to materialize — such as that is in cyberspace! — in the coming weeks and months.


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