/ Formative musical experiences

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Thrudge on 04 Apr 2019

What were yours? 

I recall mine as being big surprises.  Early ones were being blown away by the sheer speed and energy of Motorhead (Overkill was the first album I ever bought, the title track is a non-stop avalanche, a wall of tuneful noise).  Then the Sex Pistols with John Lydon's snarly vocals and the cheery swagger of Steve Jones' guitar, which made me grin every time I heard them.

That led me into metal and punk generally, and I had an adolescent disdain for other music.  Then one day I was channel-hopping on the TV and I stumbled across BB King.  An old guy noodling away very slowly.  Boring.  Contemptible. But I couldn't change the channel, and I couldn't figure out why.  I eventually worked out that it was his timing and phrasing were so delicate and beautiful and precise that I couldn't turn away.  So by that route I gradually got to appreciate some of the blues greats.

Some years later, I was watching an interview with a Russian pianist (there was nothing else on the other three channels remotely worthy of attention).  He seemed like a nice chap.  Then he got up to tickle the ivories, and this is where I went to bail out because classical music is dull incomprehensible rubbish.  It was Vladimir Ashkenazy and he played Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata.  It's no exaggeration to say I was utterly captivated.  It went on too long (my musical attention span wasn't great) it was complex and tricky to follow after the first minute or so, and I tried several times to change the channel, but I just couldn't.  It was a thing of staggering beauty and majesty and seemed to communicate feelings I didn't even have names for.  This wasn't so much formative as transformative for me, and it opened a whole world of music that I'd previously dismissed as pretentious nonsense.

BTW, if anyone has any insights into the psychology of music, I'd love to hear them.  

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freefall01 - on 04 Apr 2019
In reply to Thrudge:

Saw UFO on the Strangers in the Night tour (79?) and was sold on heavy rock for the rest of my days......except that I saw them again last week on their 50th in Inverness and they were truely awful (well, the guitarist was)........which was a real shame....you'll always have a soft spot for the music that made being 16 years old so exciting.

I did make an effort to see Motorhead every year they toured and Lemmy and the boys were always brilliant.....

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Thrudge on 04 Apr 2019
In reply to freefall01:

> ....you'll always have a soft spot for the music that made being 16 years old so exciting.

Very true, although I've been fortunate enough to have musical revelations well into adulthood.  Opera in my 20s, choral music in my 30s, liturgical music in my 40s.  Plus all sorts of other bits and pieces along the way.  It's a heck of a ride...

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MonkeyPuzzle - on 04 Apr 2019
In reply to Thrudge:

Having only had my Dad's (very good) record collection up to that point, hearing "On a Ragga Tip" by SL2 on The Chart Show was like nothing I'd heard before and blew my 11 year-old mind and made me want to dance like a lunatic (the 11 year-old's mind is not too dissimilar to that of an adult on certain substances, so it totally makes sense). Not long after, the intro to Teen Spirit changed the course of my teenage years and probably that of the decade's popular music in general.

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Padraig on 04 Apr 2019
In reply to Thrudge:

  It was Vladimir Ashkenazy and he played Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata.  It's no exaggeration to say I was utterly captivated.    This wasn't so much formative as transformative for me, and it opened a whole world of music that I'd previously dismissed as pretentious nonsense.

I had pretty much the same experience with Lang Lang.  Was not into classical but caught his "masterclass" program a few years ago and it just blew my mind.

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Thrudge on 04 Apr 2019
In reply to Padraig:

That reminds me of another one - Jean Paul Tortelier teaching cello students to play one Bach's cello suites.  I thought they sounded pretty good, but it didn't really do much for me.  Then Tortellier played and it was an OMG moment, just astonishing.  I'd never heard of him, so I wasn't swayed by his reputation, he was just some guy to me.

Because of that experience, my first ever CD purchase was Tortellier's Bach Cello Suites and Hole's Live Through This (thanks to John Peel for that one).

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graeme jackson - on 04 Apr 2019
In reply to freefall01:

> Saw UFO on the Strangers in the Night tour (79?) and was sold on heavy rock for the rest of my days......except that I saw them again last week on their 50th in Inverness and they were truely awful (well, the guitarist was)........

They weren't too bad in Edinburgh although the guitarist was pretty over-indulgent.  Tara Lynch was just a bag of shite in comparison.

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pasbury on 04 Apr 2019
In reply to Thrudge:

Sex pistols for me too (though actually new rose by the damned was the trigger). As an ELO fan I underwent a swift conversion in 1976 and would only consume punk and new wave for years.

Next, having bought into the punk credo that 1976 was ground zero and all rock music before that was corpulent indulgence I was forced, at university, to listen to Dark Side of the Moon and Led Zep 4, this helped me broaden my horizons and another obscure album called Penguin Eggs by Nic Jones opened up a world of folk, folk rock and a retrograde journey to the late 60's of Pentangle and the Mahavishnu Orchestra.

In the 90's while growing bored of grunge and indie I came across a strange thing called A Huge Ever Growing Pulsating Brain That Rules from the Centre of the Ultraworld.... that led to a few years of total immersion in techno and house music.

Good thread, great memories.

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Clarence on 04 Apr 2019
In reply to Thrudge:

I was a fairly straight laced child, into choral music and baroque from school and church. An older cousin introduced me to Saxon, Judas Priest and Iron Maiden's debut album which completely changed my musical taste overnight. I was exclusively into heavy rock and metal for a few years until my interests were broadened again by the Young Ones and more importantly Neil's Heavy Concept Album. I loved this comedy cover album so much that I tracked down the originals - Incredible String Band, Traffic, Caravan etc. and became a bit more hairy progster than exclusively metal. My last great musical revelation was travelling to Scotland with a mate who only had five CDs, all by Ozric Tentacles. I remember Tantric Obstacles, Live Underslunky and Erpland but can't quite put my finger on the other two. I have been a fan ever since.

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paul__in_sheffield - on 04 Apr 2019
In reply to Thrudge:

Summer 1978 Black Sabbath at Birmingham Odeon. Sabbath were great as always, but we were all in shock after the unknown support act blew them away. Eddie Van Halen turned out to be quite handy with a guitar...

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BusyLizzie on 04 Apr 2019
In reply to Thrudge:

First session in the school orchestra age 12. The first chord played at the start of the piece, in which as a lowly second-clarinettist I had one of the inner parts, completely blew me away because for the first time I was *inside* a piece of music (rather than singing or playing the melody on top).

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L Pefa on 04 Apr 2019
In reply to Thrudge:

The Sweet-Blockbuster,Roy Wood and I hate to say it but Gary Glitter, I was about 6 or 7. Then later White Riot - The Clash, Sid Vicious - Something Else, My Way. 1st single I ever bought was God Save The Queen. (worth £4000 now)

John Williams Cavatina spellbinding to me in I think it was 1978 when it came out. 

After punk it was the Ska sounds of Madness etc which I loved(everyone did) then when I seen that cutie Bruce Dickenson belting out Run To The Hills I was hooked on hard then prog rock.Too many after that to name. 

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ena sharples - on 04 Apr 2019
In reply to Thrudge:

can recall a few WTF? moments-first time hearing the late beethoven quartets for one. The real game changer for me, which gave me a glimpse of just how varied music can be was my first rehearsal with the Leicestershire School Symphony Orchestra (back in the day when that actually meant something.) I imagined i was pretty well versed in the standard rep and didn't suppose much could surprise me. Then we played this-https://youtu.be/I86JF69HiUA

Now that, really did blow me away.

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aln - on 04 Apr 2019
In reply to Thrudge:

Hank Williams and other C+W from my dad's records. Glam rock on telly, Slade live at Glasgow Apollo when I was 13/14. They were near the end of their career and going back to their rock roots. Loud and heavy as f*ck, I think they corrupted me.

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pasbury on 04 Apr 2019
In reply to Thrudge:

Another way your musical experience can be changed is when you realise that people younger (much younger) than you can blow you away.

My holy trinity of musicians was Polly Harvey, Nick Cave And Jack White (and J Spaceman); all about my age and making music that spoke to me. Very rewarding and cosy.

My daughter regards all that as old, boring and meaningless to her.

It is all those things but still relevant to me.

Royal by Lorde was my first kick in the head, followed by Mitski, sigrid, Pink, and my own discovery of Let’s Eat Grandma.

Post edited at 23:51
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Gordon Stainforth - on 05 Apr 2019
In reply to Thrudge:

I had a similar experience with Beethoven’s music at about the age of 17. In my early teens, although I was very keen on much of the pop music that was around at the time (early 1960s), I was just starting to get into some of the more popular classical composers such as Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov. Then one of my masters at school gave a very good series of talks on classical music, with clips and using a piano to illustrate various points. About the second or third talk was on Beethoven’s 5th Symphony and what really blew me away was not the famous first movement, but the second, slow movement. It was an 'epiphany moment': I had never heard anything remotely as beautiful or majestic in my life.

This really kick-started my interest in classical music in general and Beethoven in particular, such that when I went to film school in my early 20s I made a 1/2-hour biopic of the composer in the last year of his life, starring Tony Britton.

Years later again, in 1980 – leading out of these formative experiences – I had the immensely rewarding task of working as music editor for Stanley Kubrick on The Shining, and then in 1983 for composer James Horner on Peter Yates’s The Dresser.

Latterly my musical tastes have shifted towards Bach. I am particularly fond of the Goldberg Variations, and I think the St John Passion is one of the greatest pieces of music that’s ever been written.

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Thrudge on 05 Apr 2019
In reply to Pefa:

> The Sweet-Blockbuster,Roy Wood and I hate to say it but Gary Glitter, I was about 6 or 7. Then later White Riot - The Clash, Sid Vicious - Something Else, My Way. 1st single I ever bought was God Save The Queen. (worth £4000 now)

A fine set of music indeed  :-D

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cb294 - on 05 Apr 2019
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

I agree, St. John's over St. Matthews passion for me, too, even though my son, who has sung both of them with his choir, vehemently disagrees! Anyway, I usually try to see both live every year.

Funnily, I am currently going the other way, expanding from Bach and Händel and starting to listen to more Mozart and Schubert. My "epiphany" was a recent flight to the US, where two newish recordings of Mozart and Schubert symphonies were on the Lufthansa onboard playlist. I had them on my headphones for six hours each on the way out and back, and bought the CDs first thing when I came back. 

CB

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Thrudge on 05 Apr 2019
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> Latterly my musical tastes have shifted towards Bach. I am particularly fond of the Goldberg Variations, and I think the St John Passion is one of the greatest pieces of music that’s ever been written.

I didn't get on with Goldberg the first few times I heard it, just couldn't seem to wrap my head around it. Ignored it for a few years then happened to hear the (ahem) 'eccentric' Glenn Gould version, which really should be called sing-along-a-Glenn. And it completely blew me away, an absolutely spellbinding piece of music. 

Similarly, I couldn't get on with St Matthews Passion, desired loving Bach's B minor Mass. I need to go back to that one. 

BTW, I'm reminded of Miles Davis' Kind of Blue.  I bought it because the hi-fi magazines said it was a classic album and a wonderful recording and I didn't have (or like) any jazz. Played it the first time and.... nothing. Played it a second time... ho-hum, dull, and I don't get it. Sat reading one night and decided to play it as background music, I wasn't even paying attention. Two minutes in and BOOM - I was absolutely grabbed, picked up and carried along, I couldn't take my eyes off it, if you'll pardon the awkward metaphor. Since then it's become one of my favourite albums, a rock solid unbeatable classic.

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Tom V - on 05 Apr 2019
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

Do you hum along with the Goldberg Variations?

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Thrudge on 05 Apr 2019

Thank you to all who've posted so far, it's fascinating to see how profound and beautiful your experiences have been. 

I'm particularly struck by those who have had such experiences when playing an instrument. I have no musical ability myself, despite years of plugging away at the guitar and sounding awful. I can hardly imagine what it must be like to be 'inside'the music like that. 

Keep the experiences coming, folks, this is great!

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cb294 - on 05 Apr 2019
In reply to Thrudge:

Have you tried Bach's Art of Fugue in a piano adaptation? My favourite version is the one by Pierre-Laurent Aimard. I can sit for what feels like hours with my eyes closed, listening to how the theme is mathematically developed from one Contrapunctus to the next.

I would love to learn to play well enough again to tackle Contrapunctus I and IX (after a 30 year break), but unfortunately currently live 500km away from my piano...

CB

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Andrew Lodge - on 05 Apr 2019
In reply to Pefa:

God Save The Queen. (worth £4000 now)

Are your serious? I have a pristine copy in the loft

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Thrudge on 05 Apr 2019
In reply to cb294:

I haven't, thank you very much for the tip 

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jerrytf - on 05 Apr 2019
In reply to Thrudge:

Being raised to believe I had to be a classical pianist and listening to ACDC Thunderstruck 497 times until I finally conquered my social conditioning. ... Thunder. 

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Bellie on 05 Apr 2019
In reply to Thrudge:

A kid from another school (multi school trip) and I got chatting about music.  I said I was into electronic music - by that I meant Depeche Mode/Human League.  He did me a tape of a 'different' type of electronic music.... Tangerine Dream.  Blew me away.  This was early 80s. still listen to them today and remember that tape well - my best BASF one.

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Thrudge on 05 Apr 2019
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Sean Kelly - on 05 Apr 2019
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

After 5o+ years of listening to Beethoven and I find this. It's all about the performance! Alice Ott on utube and his piano concerto no 3. Bliss!

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Gordon Stainforth - on 05 Apr 2019
In reply to Tom V:

> Do you hum along with the Goldberg Variations?

I certainly find myself humming the main theme when it returns at the end. A long, complex melodic line that sticks in the mind.

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jcw on 05 Apr 2019
In reply to Thrudge:

I will doubtless gets lots of dislikes for being elitist, a snob, and out of date. But I think the replies support my contention that  a real appreciation of good music stems from three main factors, emotion, intellect, and participation. Why many react in this oh my God revelation with regards to what for lack of a better term is a piece of classical music is that intellectually they have developed and for the first time have suddenly had thrust on them something that matches their own mental development as they have grown up. But it need not be classical music,but recognition of a quality that is absent from the facile. The same thing with literature. Participation is obvious too. When you actually take part in a creative process you begin to comprehend what is involved in the complex nature of what is moving you. I could go on at length on this but won't. 

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Bobling - on 05 Apr 2019
In reply to Thrudge:

Low brow from me - driving to the Gower for a day's climbing from Brizzle, early morning start and the input jack was broken so no ipod.  Rob Da Bank had stopped doing the late night/early morning Radio 1 show so I was stuck with whatever came out of the radio.

Crossing the Severn Bridge and Blank Space came on (Taylor Swift) and despite an initial 'ugh' reaction I found myself cranking the volume up.  I've been a Taylor Swift fan ever since, and she is the go to  soundtrack for Lego mornings with my kids.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e-ORhEE9VVg, good video too and damn she's easy on my eye.

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Gordon Stainforth - on 05 Apr 2019
In reply to Sean Kelly:

> After 5o+ years of listening to Beethoven and I find this. It's all about the performance! Alice Ott on utube and his piano concerto no 3. Bliss!

Yes, absolutely wondrous the ease and facility with which she plays, with an incredible lightness of touch. The music just seems to pour out of her; and she seems to have a complete and utter understanding of it. I'm sure Ludwig would have been very happy to see this ... particularly as she conveys such a sheer sense of enjoyment as she does it. Magic, really.

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Flinticus - on 05 Apr 2019
In reply to Thrudge:

Listening to Aphex Twin, Sabres of Paradise, Spice Lab and Sven Vath on substances. As if God had reached down into my brain and started flicking switches I didn't know were there. Nothing was ever the same again!

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Gordon Stainforth - on 06 Apr 2019
In reply to Sean Kelly:

And, my goodness, the conductor (and orchestra) is good. He may look a bit funny, but his precision and lack of histrionics combined with a total understanding, in the Klemperer mode, means that this genius of a pianist has the perfect support she needs. The whole thing is best described as 'perfectly realised'.

Post edited at 00:13
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Sean Kelly - on 06 Apr 2019
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

Another gem Gordon, look at her performance of the Choral Fantasia. The finale is something else. She really thumps those piano keys and gives it the hiding of it's life. Amazing for someone that looks so fragile. But again it's her enjoyment that shines through. Just wonderful really. If anyone wondered where Beethovens 9th started, it was here in this work. I'm unable to attach the utube link, an age thing no doubt.

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Gordon Stainforth - on 06 Apr 2019
In reply to Sean Kelly:

Yes, the 'evolution' of the last movement of the 9th is very interesting. I think he wrote the Choral Fantasia 12-14 years earlier, didn't he? He really was obsessed by that melody, it seems (yet it's subtly so much better in the 9th). I'll have to listen to Ott's performance tonight, or I won't get any work done

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what the hex on 06 Apr 2019
In reply to Thrudge:

Somehow progressed from Shakin’ Stephens and Jive Bunny and the Mastermixers to New Order, Queens of the Stone Age and Guns ‘n’ Roses. The path to enlightenment is indeed like a raft crossing a river (with some dubious things floating in it).

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jamiev on 06 Apr 2019
In reply to Thrudge:

What a wonderful thread. Thanks for starting it. In specific reference to the OP's comment about insights into the psychology of music, I thoroughly recommend a read of Daniel Levitin's "This Is Your Brain On Music: Understanding a Human Obsession."

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Tom V - on 06 Apr 2019
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

I was having a little dig at Glenn Gould who is quite audible on some recordings of the Goldbergs. Great to watch all the same.

Post edited at 11:05
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Sean Kelly - on 06 Apr 2019
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

You won't be disappointed Gordon. There are other vids of Alice Ott, but it is in the live performances that she shines. 

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mountainbagger - on 06 Apr 2019
In reply to jcw:

> I will doubtless gets lots of dislikes for being elitist, a snob, and out of date.

Two likes, no dislikes so far. Are you disappointed? ;-)

For what it's worth I gave you a like as it's an interesting theory and does fit with my experience and those of some people I know who hear something quite different for the first time. It's usually certain pieces of classical music though earlier in life (teens maybe) it was hearing rock/metal/rap/dance music outside of the mainstream pop charts, which were hard to escape back then with limited TV channels and radio stations.

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Pursued by a bear - on 06 Apr 2019
In reply to jcw:

> I will doubtless gets lots of dislikes for being elitist, a snob . . .  a real appreciation of good music stems from three main factors, emotion, intellect, and participation.

I think a lot depends on what you mean by 'real appreciation'.  

Music can express that which we are otherwise unable to articulate.  It can bypass the intellect and, in the way that a tap on the side of a flask of a super-saturated solution can make it crystallize, music can provoke a reaction within us.  That might be joy, sadness, an urge to jump around, whatever; but it does that without any bit of our analytical faculties being involved.  And to react in such a way is to appreciate music.

Of course, knowing some musical theory and having experience of playing one or more instruments can give you a different appreciation of music.  You understand a bit more of the how and why and it allows you to react intellectually to what you hear.   

Both are real appreciations.  For the first, I could offer you a simple thing; Abide With Me being sung, unaccompanied, in the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympics reduced me to a soggy mess when I first saw it, and has done when I've watched it since too.  No mental faculties there, just an emotional reaction.  I can also appreciate other things more analytically, complex time signatures and polyrhythmic beats, the way a guitar string can be bent just the right amount; it makes a difference to the pleasure I get from listening and makes me value some pieces more highly.

But that more participatory, intellectual appreciation isn't any more 'real' than the first. Whether you react to the surface or dig deeper into it, as long as you engage then the appreciation has an equal value and the music is doing its job.

Right, enough talk.  Where are my CDs . . .

T.

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Tom V - on 06 Apr 2019
In reply to jcw:

I've always been intrigued by the emotive content of music and wonder why some  pieces can reduce people to tears  ( mainly Puccini in my case)

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Thrudge on 06 Apr 2019
In reply to jamiev:

> What a wonderful thread. Thanks for starting it. In specific reference to the OP's comment about insights into the psychology of music, I thoroughly recommend a read of Daniel Levitin's "This Is Your Brain On Music: Understanding a Human Obsession."

Wey-hey!  Thank you very much, I just bought it 

Post edited at 13:43
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Thrudge on 06 Apr 2019
In reply to Tom V:

> I've always been intrigued by the emotive content of music and wonder why some  pieces can reduce people to tears  ( mainly Puccini in my case)

Me too.  E lucevan le stelle gets me every time:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4mX7ugJ5NM8

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Thrudge on 06 Apr 2019
In reply to Pursued by a bear:

> But that more participatory, intellectual appreciation isn't any more 'real' than the first.

I agree, but intellectual appreciation can be a wonderful aesthetic experience.  I don't have it myself with music, but I strongly suspect that those who do (the musicians amongst us) are getting even more bang for their buck than I am.  I think it's a matter of degree, rather than a difference.

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jcw on 06 Apr 2019
In reply to Pursued by a bear:

I never said that the emotional experience per se was not something that does not exist. On the contrary it does. What I indicated was that it was the interaction of the three that led to a deeper understanding of that wow factor; intellectual satisfaction is a complementary result. For example my love of the Mozart piano concertos stems from the sheer beauty of most which provides an intellectual satisfaction as well as an emotive one. But when I start to play them a further dimension is engaged.

Intellectual interest also makes me want to know more:  in my case it has opened up the extraordinary qualities of Prokofieff and Shostakovitch who in my youth were so often dismissed with the derogatory remark "modern music". Unfortunately my technique does not allow me into the adventure of playing them. But to give one more example. I have always liked the Wanderer Fantasy and have the Pollini recording of it. But I also found the work somewhat unsatisfactory and understood why Liszt arranged it for piano and orchestra. Recently I acquired the Schubert score. It is much too difficult for me but the sheer pleasure I have had hacking away at it however incompetently (it is fiendish) , has completely transformed my understanding of the piece and made me realize the Liszt, which I still think is great fun, simply does not touch the depth or emotional subtleties of Schubert's original.  It is one of the greatest pieces of piano music ever written!

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John Stainforth - on 06 Apr 2019
In reply to jcw:

I'm a massive fan of Schubert and can play his easier pieces OK. But I have also been bashing away at the Wanderer Fantasia (and I love Pollini's classic recording), which is far too difficult for me, for forty five years - a very long learning curve! If it's any consolation, it's said that Schubert himself couldn't play the hardest passages properly.

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jcw on 06 Apr 2019
In reply to John Stainforth:

Hi John,a fortiori since I have lost the vision of one eye and trying to read those accidentals with one eye piering at the score and my hands below my chin. The extraordinary thing is that no single bar does not carry a modulation so one can never sit back and just let it rip. I make no attempt at the final section, but the satisfaction when some  bits come together is like climbing a route which you have always dreamed of doing, even if it does mean occasionally pulling on the pegs! Great to find a fellow enthusiast. Incidentally, one of the things people who take it all too seriously is that great music can be sheer fun. I was trying to hack away at some of the Liszt Hungarian Rhapsodies the other day and found myself laughing out loud at my efforts to my wife's surprise. Again just like climbing, the sheer exuberance of being out of doors giving it a bash however incompetently. So different from climbing walls!!

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Tom V - on 06 Apr 2019
In reply to Thrudge:

My favourite bit of Puccini, too.

Only just noticed that you mentioned Glenn Gould before me or I wouldnt have bothered.

I wonder if there are others like me in that many of my musical introductions have been via the medium of film: from Strauss's Four Last Songs 37 years ago to Handel's  Ombra Mai Fu a couple of months since.

Maybe BS will to  be able to deduce the films.

Post edited at 23:18
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Andy Long - on 07 Apr 2019
In reply to Thrudge:

Sparky's Magic Piano.

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Blue Straggler - on 07 Apr 2019
In reply to Tom V:

> Maybe BS will to  be able to deduce the films.

I might be cheesy but I'm not THAT cultured!

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Tom V - on 07 Apr 2019
In reply to Blue Straggler:

The Handel is Googleable, the Strauss less so 

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BnB - on 07 Apr 2019
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

Beethoven has always meant a lot to me. But when I encountered Mahler I truly understood the transformative ecstasy of music. To all you ex-clubbers out there, pay attention to these 4 minutes that form the climax to Mahler's, some say classical music's, ultimate work and just enjoy the conductor's response as the heavens apparently open for him. This is incredible stuff and I warn you might need a hanky.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rECVyN5D60I 

This whole symphony, Mahler's 2nd, was performed in Sheffield city hall last year and I swear nothing has come close in  my whole life. I have never experienced music in such a physical way. And I am an ex-clubber ;-)

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Gordon Stainforth - on 07 Apr 2019
In reply to BnB:

Agreed; absolutely wonderful. Surely one of the most euphoric things that's ever been written. And just when you think nothing can top those choral climaxes, in comes the brass. Bernstein, too, is so right for it.

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Ceiriog Chris - on 07 Apr 2019
In reply to jerrytf:

> Being raised to believe I had to be a classical pianist and listening to ACDC Thunderstruck 497 times until I finally conquered my social conditioning. ... Thunder. 

When I was 14 my mate in school asked me if I wanted to go on the bus to Blackburn to see a band called ACDC, I managed to scrounge the money off my dad and got well and truly blown away by Angus, never witnessed anything as powerful before or after, 

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wildebeeste - on 09 Apr 2019
In reply to Bobling:

After some whiskey fueled Youtubing, Taylor and Puccini my two faves. Guess that makes me definitely mid-brow. I'm OK with that!

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jerrytf - on 09 Apr 2019
In reply to Ceiriog Chris:

Thanks Ceiriog Chris, should pay you 50 quid for the therapy, finding a fellow ACDC appreciator worth a few hours of that, back to doing psychometric tests like https://www.wikijob.co.uk/ to somehow get smarter, been buying up Spitfire Audio VSTs recently making my own music now, love my own music now more than anything else it's something, anyway that's the stream of consciousness for today cheers again.

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Blue Straggler - on 09 Apr 2019
In reply to Thrudge:

1) Sometime in 1992, aged 16, after teenage years mostly listening to what was fed to me in the pop charts plus (better) what my cooler elder sister was listening to - especially when boyfriends with good taste came onto the scene, I chanced upon Mark Radcliffe's "Out on Blue Six" Radio One show that used to go out on Monday nights 9pm-10pm. Somewhere I still have a cassette that I rapidly put in my stereo that evening to tape anything that had a good intro. I only got 45 mintues of the 1 hour show because it took me 15 minutes to walk home from Scouts which finished at 9, but I discovered some names I'd HEARD as being legendary but had never actually HEARD.  Patti Smith Group's "We Three". Traffic's "Paper Sun". Stuff I hadn't heard of like Gentle Giant and Simon Dupree. I never became a huge fan of any of those examples but it opened a gateway to a world beyond (the still reasonably acceptable!) New Order, T'Pau, INXS, Depeche Mode, All About Eve, Inspiral Carpets, Voice of the Beehive, Belinda Carlisle etc that I'd hitherto been listening to. 

2) some more radio moments, can't single one out from the other so they both go in as equals. About 18 years old now, sitting in the car waiting for my sister to do something (pick up dry cleaning maybe), Andy Kershaw Saturday daytime show, Iris Dement in session, played Mama's Opry. Around the same period, John Peel played Tarnation's "The Big O Motel". And I realised that country music was not the naff corny old joke that I'd been indoctrinated to believe. 

3) older and more jaded, a grand 25 years old in late 2000 and missing what I'd used to love about "alternative" music after saturating myself in it through Britpop and the post-Britpop years until I was exhausted, I went to see Le Tigre play at The Garage in London. Didn't really try to get near the front as I am a man and Le Tigre were a lot about feminism so I thought I'd let the 90% female audience not have some bloke amongst them. Consequently I was not paying attention to the support band who I had not heard of and who were playing this sort of Stereolab-like keyboard-led instrumental set. 
But then one song caught my ear - a frantic 2 minute intro and then a glorious quiet bit that slowly rebuilt into an epic soundscape. Basically they were playing the music that I'd always had in my head (I'd tried being in bands but I was musically inept and don't get on with group creative work but I wanted some blend of synth and dischordant noisy guitar washes, and no singing)
Of course that band was Electrelane and the song was Blue Straggler. Funny to say it but it changed my life, renewed inspiration and invigoration - just having something to be passionate about was so refreshing. The truth of this really hit me about 15 months later when I noticed that I'd just played their 70 minute debut album five times in a row without realising the passage of time.

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Gordon Stainforth - on 09 Apr 2019
In reply to Thrudge:

I mentioned above that one of my formative musical experiences was working as music editor on Kubrick's The Shining. I'm talking about this on BBC Radio 4 at 4.00 pm on The Film Programme. It'll be repeated on Sunday evening, and they'll be putting out a longer version as a podcast on the R4 website. Further details may be found here:

http://www.gordonstainforth.co.uk/secrets-of-the-shining

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mbh - on 09 Apr 2019
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

Wow! Well done you. I would like to listen to that.

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Gordon Stainforth - on 09 Apr 2019
In reply to mbh:

It was actually a really enjoyable experience – even though I had to get out of my 'sick bed' to do it (I have a bad hip: being replaced in 10 days) ... travelled all the way from Derbyshire on special foam plastic cushion, then taxi to Broadcasting House. Really nice people, and so great to see such technical excellence all around me. Reminded me in some ways of being back in the film industry.

Post edited at 20:04
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Blue Straggler - on 10 Apr 2019
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

>  ... travelled all the way from Derbyshire on special foam plastic cushion

I would have gone on a train, but hey whatever works  

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Gordon Stainforth - on 10 Apr 2019
In reply to Blue Straggler:

I simplified the story. Freda drove me very gently to my brother's place in Hertfordshire, where I stayed overnight, then I took the very good electrified train from Knebworth to King's X. (BS, please don't always do this thing of thinking you always know better about things you don't know about. It's quite irksome.)

PS. I promise you, I would never have made such a comment about your travelling arrangements.

PS2. Just to explain further. I had to be at Broadcasting House by 11.30 last Monday morning. To do that with a sufficient contingency factor, from Derby to St P., would have meant taking a train at the height of the rush hour, with the risk of not being able to get a comfortable seat, which is really important to me now in my very lame state.

Post edited at 00:48
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Gordon Stainforth - on 10 Apr 2019
In reply to mbh:

I'm quite excited now to see that, although I'm in a double-billing in the half-hour programme with Paul Laverty, they've now updated the headline picture for the programme to Jack Nicolson in the maze. I'm sort of nervous and excited at the same time about it. They interviewed me for over an hour so I'll be v interested to see what they've selected. But the exact truth is that it was a huge privilege to be interviewed by such knowledgable enthusiasts.

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wildebeeste - on 10 Apr 2019
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

Wait, you used to work in film?

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Gordon Stainforth - on 10 Apr 2019
In reply to wildebeeste:

Yes, for many years. Details can be found on my website.

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Thrudge on 10 Apr 2019
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

Fantastic, thanks very much for that, Gordon. 

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Blue Straggler - on 10 Apr 2019
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

Gordon. It was an innocent, if weak, pun and certainly not intended to be at the expense of your condition nor even specific to your actual journey. I'd hoped that this was obvious. Wrong again. 

This bit I don't understand but never mind "BS, please don't always do this thing of thinking you always know better about things you don't know about. It's quite irksome"

I look forward to hearing the broadcast. 

Post edited at 10:28
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Gordon Stainforth - on 10 Apr 2019
In reply to Blue Straggler:

Sorry about that. Please ignore. I was in quite a bad mood last night because I was in some pain, and your comment didn't help.

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Blue Straggler - on 10 Apr 2019
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

Understood. Onbviously as we know, nuance can be hard to see in cold text, and easy to take the wrong way. Thanks. 

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Tom V - on 10 Apr 2019
In reply to Blue Straggler:

It made me laugh, anyway.

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Gordon Stainforth - on 10 Apr 2019
In reply to Tom V:

Yes, and I missed the joke completely...

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