20 October, 2008

Getting into Classical Music

So last week, frustrated by total lack of decent signal for "Classic FM" in practically every situation when I might wish to listen to it (mostly commute), I decided to get hold of some portable classical music of a more "on demand" (and non-wireless) nature...Simple, one might think...however, it proved to be a bit more of a problem than I originally anticipated - there is a collossal amount of classical music available, and it is of distinctly variable quality (beauty is in the ear of the beholder and all that), so where on earth does one start?

I decided I would begin my quest completely at random with a 3 CD collection called "Beethoven - Piano Concertos (Pollini - Abbado)"...it took me a couple of days to get through it all, I recognised very little of it, I also (unfortunately) enthusiastically liked very little of it either...with a bit of (half-hearted) repetition some of the good bits of the compositions started to pop into my mind when it was being otherwise idle (over the weekend, that sort of thing)...but largely, I judged myself to have made a rather dissapointing choice, and thus an inglorious first foray...

Attempt two faired only a little better as I then, rather foolishly, rushed to the complete opposite end of the scale and picked up a VA release called "The Top 100 Masterpieces of Classical Music 1685-1928"...while the first couple of tracks were interesting and new it then descended rather quickly into track after track that probably should have been titled "The Top 100 Masterpieces of Classical Music 1685-1928 that you are already sick of hearing because they have been ruthlessly battered to death and subsequently dumped in a stream by the Advertising Industry"...and although I'm only on track 58, the horrifying conclusion I'm starting to uncomfortably and uncontrollably slide towards is that all the really good and catchy bits of Classical music are already down there - and starting to decompose - waiting to be discovered by someone that was "just out walking their dog"...and who will react as I did - with some revulsion...

I'd love to be wrong...any suggestions?

(Update - Duo Des Fleurs does sort of work on the escalators in Cabot Square)...

2 comments:

Kev Brown said...

I would recommend Gershwin's Rhapsody In Blue and Holst: The Planets for starters, two very popular classical suites. Also I have found the Classic FM releases (Smooth Classics etc) to be very good compositions! Very listenable! I do have the same problem though, finding Classical stuff that I like, which has always hindered me actually buying classical music!

¨°º©[ Fink ]©º°¨ said...

Ah that's awesome, thanks Kev! ;)

The Planets, I definitely remember that from my childhood...added to the top of the list!