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In reply to an earlier post on 17 May 2012 09:50:20 BDT
Last edited by the author on 17 May 2012 09:52:55 BDT
D. M. Ohara says:
We are on the same wavelength here. Bach, Beethoven and Mozart [now in that order] are my favourites. But my first love was Schubert. It started when I bought a set of 78s of the Unfinished Symphony at a jumble sale for pennies aged about 14 - and I still adore him. Chopin and Schumann soon joined the ranks, but it took me rather longer to get on the the wavelength of the Top 3.
Meanwhile, I had a big thing for Tchaikovsky - who has, over time, slipped further down the lists than any other composer I have ever enjoyed. Today, he would not be in my Top 10, and probably not even make my Top 20.

Posted on 17 May 2012 10:19:27 BDT
Holst's planets were the start of it for me. I was in a school play at the end of the first year of junior school, so I would have been seven. I was Chronos, Clair Coulson was Rhea, and my best friend, David Yates was the young Zeus. I had to chuck several dolls over my shoulder to indicate devouring my own children, and we spent what seemed liike a long time rehearsing my fall down a set of stage steps when I got my comeuppance at the climax. The music of Mars and Jupiter was made significant use of. I asked for the record of the planets for my birthday, and the one I got was the Stokowski/Los Angeles, Music for Pleasure. I remember getting up especially early to hear it before school, and I remember being struck by the strangeness of the feelings evoked in me by Saturn and the fading voices at the end of Neptune, and the feeling that they were somehow more 'important' (I did not yet know the word profound) than the more straightforward feelings of the two best known planets. This was also tied up with the earliest stages of my lifelong passion for astronomy.

Posted on 17 May 2012 11:51:14 BDT
Lez Lee says:
Off topic -
John, I'm going to make you jealous. My niece studied for her astrophysics doctorate at Jodrell Bank and spent time at the Very Large Array observatory in New Mexico and the Great Canary Telescope at Las Palmas.

In reply to an earlier post on 17 May 2012 13:31:01 BDT
Yes Lez, jealous indeed...

Posted on 17 May 2012 14:13:33 BDT
Last edited by the author on 17 May 2012 17:47:21 BDT
JayJayDee says:
Looks like a lot of people were at it, underage, so to speak...before the age of ten.
I remember saving up for a Peter and the Wolf LP (Ormandy & Cyril Ritchard) at the age of 8 or 9, but I am sure I was being led into it.....
It is the teenage years when we grow our own wings and choose our own loves. I remember buying the Curzon /van Beinum Brahms 1st PC on Ace of Clubs with my pocket money and my father saying "WHY ???? , we already have the Serkin". but I had chosen my own. It had an ominous black cloud on the cover and that is always Brahms for me, to this day!

Posted on 17 May 2012 17:34:47 BDT
JJD - I still have that LP and, as it happens, the Serkin (the latter a much later purchase on CD) and alternate them for their different insights. If I want fire and brimstone, Serkin gets a spin. If I want something a little more nuanced, Curzon's up.

In reply to an earlier post on 17 May 2012 19:34:10 BDT
gille liath says:
Is that what they teach you in them Scouse schools...? ;)

Posted on 20 May 2012 21:42:12 BDT
I was still well under 10 when I discovered a very scratched EP of Tchaikovsky excerpts from Sleeping Beauty, Nutcracker and Swan Lake. I had no idea what the music was, but I danced around our back room to Waltz of the Flowers. I still love it now, nearly 40 years later! Lovely stuff!

Posted on 21 May 2012 18:54:28 BDT
JayJayDee says:
Felicia, you have every right now to dance round your front room with it.

Go ahead!

Posted on 31 May 2012 12:58:46 BDT
Last edited by the author on 31 May 2012 12:59:20 BDT
Tchaikovsky and the duality of emotional fate in the 4th and 6th Symphonies and whimsical dance in Nutcracker.

In reply to an earlier post on 1 Jun 2012 11:09:42 BDT
I can certainly see why this was your first love Larry. It makes me swoon just to think of those works.

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Jun 2012 18:01:04 BDT
Last edited by the author on 4 Jun 2012 10:44:39 BDT
Hello Ohara

The same thing happened for me with Tchaikovsky. An early love affair for me was his "The Seasons" solo piano pieces - nowadays I have a hard time listening through the whole thing. The recording I listened to was L. Artymiw on Chandos - later I got the Pletnev, but I think he "over-interprets" instead of letting the music speak.
Peter Lyich Tchaikovsky: The Seasons, Op.37a

I still like Tchaikovsky's 4th symphony, his piano concertos and the violin concerto - so nothing unusual with me from Tchaikovsky.
I have the Pappano Tchaikovsky symphonies on my wish list after hearing some it on the radio - over the top!

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Jun 2012 20:01:45 BDT
D. M. Ohara says:
The Tchaikovsky pieces I still listen to with most pleasure are probably the violin concerto and Romeo and Juliet. I also like the Serenade for Strings, but have not heard it for ages. The symphonies and piano concertos now appeal far less than they once did.
You mention Lydia Artymiw [is that the correct spelling?]. I remember she was a prize winner at Leeds when Radu Lupu took first prize. I have a BBC LP of the prizewinners, which includes Lupu in Schubert's A minor sonata D. 784. I forget what she plays - or the others [I'm too lazy to look it out!]

Posted on 3 Jun 2012 20:09:52 BDT
Last edited by the author on 3 Jun 2012 20:10:16 BDT
That is indeed the correct spelling of her surname. I think it's Ukrainian in origin.

My favourite Tchaikovsky has always been the ballet music, particularly "Swan Lake". Generally I find I gravitate more towards Rachmaninov, Balakirev and some of the lesser-known Russians, notably Kalinnikov and Lyapunov.

Posted on 4 Jun 2012 09:50:31 BDT
Mondoro says:
Growing up in a remote British colony meant that availability of classical music was restricted, so my early progress was very slow. First, Beethoven in the early 50s, via those pioneering Decca LP recordings; (some) Mozart, the later Tchaikovsky symphones, Dvorak, Sibelius. At University, Brahms - the Second Symphony a great revelation. And then an explostion of new discoveries, from Bartok to Malcolm Arnold. Later on still, chamber music, starting (again) with Beethoven.These are all favourites still. In retropect, I'm glad I took my time, and absorbed before going on to new things.

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Jun 2012 11:32:25 BDT
Nick says:
The 1st LP I bought myself (from Rushworths in Liverpool) was the Decca World of Classics: "Danse Macabre" - the reason for buying that disc - it had a skeleton on the cover which I thought rather spooky. GREAT LP though - stunning Ansermet version of Sorcerer's Apprentice and the piece that became my first 'best/favourite piece' - Arnold's Tam O'Shanter played by Alexander Gibson and the New SO of London. Still by some way the most characterful version of that brilliant work - I loved the whip effect and the storm! Witches Brew (Import) and still do.

Posted on 4 Jun 2012 12:20:59 BDT
Adam Jackson says:
I guess it would be Holst if based on my exposure to The Planets Suite somewhere between the ages of 8 and 10.

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Jun 2012 16:15:23 BDT
MacDoom says:
Look who's back! Welcome, Adam!

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Jun 2012 16:33:09 BDT
Ohara and Harry

RE: Tchaikovsky

Ah, the ballets and symphonic poems - I have been neglecting those works, because I don't like program music. I do of course enjoy the Festival Overture on the Danish National Anthem, because I am Danish myself and therefore familiar with the theme and love the funny things he does with it. From the ballets all I remember is the Valse from Swan Lake.
This is the only recording I have of the ballets - looks like it is out of print:
Ballet Suites/Rowicki Gr Rowicki + Leitner on DG
And I have the Pletnev in the symphonic poems.

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Jun 2012 17:20:39 BDT
Piso Mojado says:
Adam, don't be a stranger. Stick around. How's life? I mean, like, you know ... considering the alternative?

Posted on 5 Jun 2012 21:36:49 BDT
JayJayDee says:
Nick, I seem to remember my father exhorting me to listen to the Tam O'Shanter overture and I think it was on an EP. I'm not sure if it was the Gibson or Arnold's own effort, but it must have been a late-fifties experience. I do remember the whooping of the horns and the whip sound. But I get the strong impression it was something I 'ought' to like rather than something I chose.
No complaints there. If I hadn't been taken to the ballet and the opera and forced to attend a concert of the Fifth Symphonies of Schubert, Vaughan Williams and Sibelius (one programme) I don't think it would have all caught on so quickly with me (or maybe at all!)

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Jun 2012 22:16:27 BDT
Last edited by the author on 5 Jun 2012 22:20:23 BDT
Mondoro says:
JJD: I think it was coupled with the Arnold 2nd Symphony and another work on an LP made in the late 1950s which I once had, now replaced by the excellent Penney cycle on Naxos

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Jun 2012 22:19:39 BDT
Mondoro says:
Adam: Nice to have you back. My parents had the Boult Planets on 78s - each movement apart from 'Mercury' made up two sides, so I am still mentally conscious of the 'breaks' between the two sides when I hear performances live or on CD

Posted on 5 Jun 2012 22:27:35 BDT
JayJayDee says:
Mondoro, that's quite amazing.
I am sure that many of my earliest recollections of CM must have been from 4 minute-long 78s which I wasn't allowed to go near for fear of breaking one and destroying a month's disposable income; but I really can't remember any of the side breaks. Except, just perhaps an inner movement of Brahms 4 (which I think was under Weingartner and with a bright orange label).

Posted on 5 Jun 2012 23:32:36 BDT
Lez Lee says:
I still have the set of 7 78s of Mahler's 'Das Lied...' recorded in 1936 by the Vienna Phil. under Walter with Charles Kullman (tenor). In mint condition as I've never had them out of their cardboard sleeves.

Mondoro - Is your Arnold cycle a Penney-farthing?
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