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Challenging tunes

Mr Barguzin

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Okay... we've all heard each other rave on (in some cases excessively WEG) about music and what forms great music and musical experiences.


But this is a variation on a theme (not by Pagannini)


I want you to list your top five musical pieces.... be they songs, symphonies, or whatever... and say WHY they appeal. Now, if you want to criticise ones choice, you must have justfiable arguments that Joe Blogs at the corner store could understand. THAT IS, no high fallutting extrapolations on the manner in which the plectrum struck the 'C' note in the seventh cord of the second riff or the resonance or vibratto of the singer's tonal qualities.


KISS... as in Keep It Simple Stupid!!


And no, I ain't gunna be the first to post to this topic, cause I got two hundred cd's and another few thousand memories to sort out *grin*

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Looks like I am to post on this topic... so here goes:


Okay.. have been through several CDs and am about to start, to give you an idea of what I have in mind.


In no particular order:


1) Bohemian Rhapsody (Queen)


This was the first track by Queen that got my attention. The Harmonies and pseudo orchestral effects, the use of the "three" sound channels, and Freddy Mercury's vocals. Of course, the video didn't hurt either adding to the multi channelled affect. And if you don't have it, try and get hold of "Innuendo", Queen's last album for the contrasts in Freddie's voice.


2) Symphony #5 Pathetique (Tchaikovsky) Listen to it through your stereo, and then with headphones and hear the multi tracks he laid down more clearly expressed.


3), 4) and 5) to come.

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Queen is good! I jammed to it in the car, today, on the way home from work. 8)


My problem is that I am unable to pick favorite songs and make them stick. A.D.D. prevents it. But I CAN tell you some examples and explain why I like them.


In no particular order:


  1. A Taste of Honey -- Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass
    The razor sharp, staccatto sound of several trumpets playing in perfect synergy.
  2. Fugue in G-Minor -- Bach (Played on organ. Preferably by E. Power Biggs)
    Full-On pipe organ music that hits you right in the gut. You MUST hear a pipe organ live and in person at least once in your life! (Hopefully while you are standing in the organ loft!) It's a sound that can NOT be recorded faithfully!
  3. Surfing With the Alien -- Joe Satriani
    "Joe Satch" makes Eddie Van Halen look like an amateur! That smokin' guitar sound cuts right through you! Joe can "finger tap" like nobody else!
  4. South American Getaway -- Burt Bacharach (Butch Cassidy Soundtrack)
    I love that cheezy, 1970's movie theme music! The precision of the singing and the layering of the voices.
  5. Over the Hills and Far Away -- Led Zeppelin
    The song that keeps me alive. (Personal) Zeppelin rules, anyway!


The common thing about all these songs is that I can "hear" them inside my mind just by thinking about them. Somehow, the preauditory section of my brain seems to have those sounds "burned-in". Every counterpoint of those trumpets! Every gracenote! It's there!


I don't need a stereo, sometimes. The music's already in my head! 8)

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I am going to have a go at this. I am going to start and add on as more of my favorites come to mind. I am sure there will be more than 5. Sorry Mr. B! BTW, I don't like Queen, but Boehemian Rhapsody is a good song.


1) "Collide" by Howie Day - This song will forever be the one be the one that my heart sings. x's and o's to Fox!


2) "Unchained Melody" by The Righteous Brothers (no one else can sing it like they do) - No words can say what that song does for me. In my opinion, one of (if not the) most beautiful love songs ever!


3) "Hotel California" by The Eagles - A classic. A perfectly written seduction story with totally awesome music. My Dad's favorite.


4 and 5 to come.

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*timidly walking out on stage, looking for someone who might cut down top 5 picks after the music thread*


Well, I was waiting for a few posts to see how this was going to work and shape up, but here goes.

(Damn, picking only 5 is hard!)

In no particular order: (Foxy already took "Collide" so that frees up a spot for me)


1. "Lean on me" by Bill Whithers & "Stand by Me" by Ben E. King. I put these two under one spot, 'cause they're about a lot of the same things. Everyone can relate to these songs and they have such universal meanings. Everyone needs a pick-me-up and someone to be there from time to time.


2. "Christmas Eve/Sarajevo" by Trans-Siberian Orchestra. This is my favorite christmas carol, hands down! This song will move, anyone! I don't know how you can't move to this song!


3. "Moonlight Sonata" by Beethoven. Everyone knows this song when they hear it. When you hear it, you can't help but feel some amount of emotion.


4. Something by Linkin Park should be on this list too. I'm not sure which song yet though, 'cause I like so many of them. This is currently my favorite band (and probably will be for a long time to come). They took a bunch of different genres of music, and blended them to make a sound that was pretty unique to them, and they did it beautifully!


5. I think I have to add "Kokomo" by the Beach Boys just 'cause this was a favorite of mine for such a long time when I was a kid.

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With over 5000 (Selected) LP's and a 1000 CD's it's a bit hard to choose but here goes.


1- De Zauber Flute .. all of it .. Karl Boehm version on DGG LP and Igmar Bergman Film version.


2- Evelyn the Modified Dog .. Zappa of course and on LP


3- 6 Organ Concertos of Bach by Richter on the Silberman/Arlesheim Organ Archiv LP


4- Don Quixote / Richard Strauss by Szell/Cleveland/Fournier (Epic LP)


5-The Wall / Pink Floyd (LP) .. all of it.


Sorry to cheat.


6- Hindemith Three Sonatas for Organ .. Biggs (LP)


7- Kottke .. Dreams and all that Stuff (LP)


8- Bartok .. Concerto for Orchestra .. Reiner/Chicago Classic Records 45rpm LP set of the RCA shaded dog.


9- Sait-Saens .. Symphony #3 .. Georges Pretre/Maurice Durufle Pathe Marconi EMI Red border LP


10- Ein Deutsches Requiem .. Brahms .. Klemperer on German EMI LP


Have the ultimate LP setup to play them. Makes CD's sound like dog poop on the best CD set up.


For the next 50 ..........



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Zappa is like unto God!


Any Bach on organ! Live and in person!


Don Q.... Sorry. Did that one on stage. I'm tired of hearing it over and over.


The Wall... I love it! Too much! I can "space" on that one too easily. I have to watch out!


Saint-Saens... How about "Danse Macabre"?


I picture Gomez and Moriticia waltzing to that one with a rose in the teeth. "Cara MIA!" I think my wife and I are going to take dance lessions just to to that!... Wearing a nice fur! (When I get her one.)

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AAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh Organ Music. I'll meet your BAch and Saint Saens and raise you my number three:


Organ Symphony #5 (I think) 2nd Movement (I think) WIDOR.. (I KNOW!! *grin*) You may have heard it at a graduation ceremony, or as a processional as the bride enters the church.... but to me it is the Bass notes that make the church tremble and your limbs shudder. However you have never heard it until played on a full blown Pipe Organ. Sends shivers down my spine just thinking about it.


And on the Saint Saens Organ Symphony, can anyone name the song that was taken from the beginning of the Second movement?

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Any Widor, Vierne or Franck. Great on the later big overblown organs like Riverside in NYC, Grace Cathedral San Francisco, Saint Sernin or other Cavaille-Coll organ.


Personal favorites are the Barouque Boys on Baroque organs. Any Arp Schnitger [esp. Zwolle], Christiaan Muller/Amsterdam, St. Laurenskerk/Alkmaar and Martinikere/Groningen. We 're fortunate in the upper lefthand corner to have many very fine modern replicas of these fine instruments. Live most any time.


As for Don Quixote? With Szell and Fournier it's always new and fresh.


ANY Zappa. Zappa lives!!



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... but to me it is the Bass notes that make the church tremble and your limbs shudder.


It can actually be cathartic!


"Christmas Eve/Sarajevo" by Trans-Siberian Orchestra


I must agree that T.S.O. is awesome. But the most awesome Christmas carol experience I ever had was this...


It was a few days before Christmas. (Year ~1990.) I was at the Messiah concert at Trinity Church in downtown Boston.


The Boston Symphony Orchestra Ensemble was playing the music. The Trinity Choir was providing the voice.


The place was packed to the rafters. The only place I could find a spot was the balcony right in front of the organ loft.


I was truly enjoying hearing Messiah played/sung live for the first time in my life. I heard an almost imperceptible rush as the air baffles filled then the organ let loose, full-out, with the opening notes to "Hallalujah Chorus"! Me and about three dozen other people just about fell over backwards as sound roared out like a volcano!


The only thing you could hear was the chorus and the organ! Actually, you didn't really "hear" it per-se. It's more like you "FELT" it! It was like the music was literally going THROUGH you!


The piece was almost finished when I realized there were tears streaming down my face. I was involuntary weeping with joy! I looked around. Just about everybody else in the balcony was too!


This is an experience EVERYBODY must try, at least ONCE in their life!

It's better than drugs!

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Worker 11811


I never played an instrument but in my younger days I did sing in a few pretty good choirs when I was in Cincinnati.


It was sometimes very hard to make it through the Brahms or Faure Requiem without breaking up.


I have to hand it to professional musicians who can play such stiring and profound music "with feeling" and make it all the way through without breaking up. Some do cry.



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I have to hand it to professional musicians who can play such stiring and profound music "with feeling" and make it all the way through without breaking up. Some do cry.


Some of those guys are freakin' amazing people!


Emanuel Ax sings to himself while he plays. Even in concert! On stage he's a powerhouse. When the lights go out and the curtain comes down, he's the nicest, most unassuming guy you've ever met.


We had to nail wooden chocks to the floor, under the piano wheels, to keep Vladimir Feltsman from pushing it across the stage while he played!


Loren Hollander was in rehearsal, playing a sonata for one hand. His left hand was in his lap. Half way through the piece he raised his left hand and looked at his wristwatch to check the time. He never missed a beat!


But the thing I noticed most about all of them is the way they "think music". It's hard to describe. These guys all read music like the way you and I read a newspaper in the morning. It's almost creepy.

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Worker 1181;


Glenn Gould was famous/infamous for humming along. In almost all of his recordings it's clearly audible.


Still the best performances of the Brahms intermetzi.


Leo Kottkie is astounding. One acoustic guitar on stage solo, sounding like a five piece band. Even when you SEE him do it you still can't believe it.



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Good music (but especially good classical music) always gives the listener a case of involuntary muscle spasms!


It is NOT possible to listen to The Barber of Seville without flexing your fingers in time to the music like Bugs Bunny in The Rabbit of Seville!


No human alive can resist the temptation to, at least mentally, add a "rasberry" to the last note of The Liberty Bell March!

During a July 4th Boston Pops concert at the Hatch Shell on the Esplanade in Boston, MA, I have actually witnessed a whole crowd of people go "Ptptpt!!" in unison at the end of that song!


Why do you think the conductor of an orchestra flails his arms about? No. He's not telling the musicians how to play! He's got a full-blown case of epilleptic seizures, brought on by being in close-proximity exposure to the music!


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  • 2 weeks later...

Number 4 - W A Mozart K626.


If you have watched the movie "Amadeus" you would have heard part of it as it was played (appropriately) at his funeral. It is a Mass, but not just any Mass. If the Catholic Church could guarantee that there'd be a full orchestra and pipe organ present, plus choir.... They would have a convert. It rises, soars falls drags you up again kicking and screaming with delight. Something to be truly savoured.

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