Famous pieces of repertoire you just don't like?

Discussions relating to the classical guitar which don't fit elsewhere.
Ray
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Re: Famous pieces of repertoire you just don't like?

Post by Ray » Tue Jun 13, 2017 1:39 am

I find this entire thread very depressing and ! regret having read through it- the title itself should have been a warning for me to stay away :(

Now I can sit here all day and try to defend pieces of music which I hold dear that don't deserve the outright distaste that is being expressed here but I don't think it's worth it because there isn't enough time and face to face interaction.

In my 35 plus years of teaching I have often come across students who at first didn't like certain pieces of contemporary music, for instance Britten's Nocturnal but after going through the piece with them slowly and explaining the compositional process of the piece I find that they do come to at least respect the work if not begin to enjoy it with repeated listenings.

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Adrian Allan
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Re: Famous pieces of repertoire you just don't like?

Post by Adrian Allan » Tue Jun 13, 2017 6:36 am

Ray wrote:
Tue Jun 13, 2017 12:34 am
Adrian Allan wrote:
Mon Jun 12, 2017 7:45 pm
El Decameron Negro by Brouwer

For me, it is just written down fingerpicking that makes little musical sense other than how it conveniently fits onto the fretboard.

The first movement is in Sonata Form with clear short thematic motives that are developed and recapitulated. It is quite melodic and the harmony is quite beautiful, colorful, and expressive.
Sonata form? - if so, a very watered down form. How can it be in the space of three minutes?

I would expect introduction, first theme, transition passage, second theme, development section of both themes and then recapitulation of one or both themes. I don't think it even changes key from E minor, which is the default setting for the classical guitar.
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Altophile
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Re: Famous pieces of repertoire you just don't like?

Post by Altophile » Tue Jun 13, 2017 10:56 am

Francisco wrote:
Fri Jun 09, 2017 10:40 pm
Igor Stravinsky is known to have said: “Why is it that whenever I hear a piece of music I don't like, it's always by Villa-Lobos?”
Why is it that whenever I hear a piece of music I don't like, it's always by Stravinsky? :-)

~Sean

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georgemarousi
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Re: Famous pieces of repertoire you just don't like?

Post by georgemarousi » Tue Jun 13, 2017 11:53 am

Wow, i read the whole thread, almost everything is in it !!!

But then ok, I can understand that after many many hearings of the same piece, we may start be bothered - especially if it's a poor - edition.

Truth is that Bach was the least mentioned - this has also something to say. Moreover, nobody mentioned Chaconne ( thank God! ) which is a real master piece!

What I understand is that there are pieces that are very "catchy" at first hearings, i.e. RDLA, - I was so excited to learn it 3 years back - that after many play and/or hearing this excitement fades out significantly. I notice that this thread mainly involves this kind of pieces.

On the other hand, I think the opposite happens with more "hardcore" pieces, with many variations in rhythm and "weird" chords. May more difficult be noticed, but remain desirable to hear/play.
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Smudger5150
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Re: Famous pieces of repertoire you just don't like?

Post by Smudger5150 » Tue Jun 13, 2017 1:51 pm

georgemarousi wrote:
Tue Jun 13, 2017 11:53 am
Wow, i read the whole thread, almost everything is in it !!!

But then ok, I can understand that after many many hearings of the same piece, we may start be bothered - especially if it's a poor - edition.

Truth is that Bach was the least mentioned - this has also something to say. Moreover, nobody mentioned Chaconne ( thank God! ) which is a real master piece!

What I understand is that there are pieces that are very "catchy" at first hearings, i.e. RDLA, - I was so excited to learn it 3 years back - that after many play and/or hearing this excitement fades out significantly. I notice that this thread mainly involves this kind of pieces.

On the other hand, I think the opposite happens with more "hardcore" pieces, with many variations in rhythm and "weird" chords. May more difficult be noticed, but remain desirable to hear/play.

I agree with your assessment. But personally I would like it people could filter out those pieces that they don't like due to over exposure as opposed to not liking them in the 1st place and still not liking them.
I'm sure some will argue that hearing something too many times is a valid reason for not liking something though.
But as some have alluded to, this is a topic that is difficult to be objective about.
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Re: Famous pieces of repertoire you just don't like?

Post by Altophile » Wed Jun 14, 2017 10:39 am

Cipher wrote:
Mon Jun 12, 2017 3:35 pm
zupfgeiger wrote:
Mon Jun 12, 2017 12:40 pm
Altophile wrote:
Mon Jun 12, 2017 10:39 am
Alright, I'll venture into these waters and commit sacrilege:

The Bouree from Bach's Lute Suite in E Minor

Da da da, da da da, da da da, da da da, da da da, da da da, da da da da da da da
Da da da, da da da, da da da, da da da, da da da, da da dadalata da

Yet the Sarabande from the same suite is among my favorites.

~Sean
I agree. I love BWV 996 and play it almost every day from the prelude to the gigue. But the bourre causes fatigue. Although I must say it is not as easy as some people might think it is.
Sorry you both feel this way about the BWV 996 Bourree - I think it's about the only piece by Bach that guitarists play that clearly shows two voices in independent counterpoint. Often times you really don't hear it because the bass part is two octaves below the melody line and it may come across as more of an accompaniment in the low range of the guitar but it is in fact a separate independent melody that is interacting with the melody above it. I always play each line separately for my students and then combine them and they're always surprised by how brilliant Bach was to create such richness and genius from two interlocking melody lines. You can also demonstrate by singing the Bourree as a counterpoint duet with the student singing the tenor part voice and the teacher the low bass voice.
Well, I knew I was committing sacrilege;-) Unlike some pieces that one simply grows weary of hearing because they are overplayed, I haven't liked the Bouree since day one. And, of course, everyone and his mother plays the bloody tune!

I love Bach in general though, so I think he'll forgive me.

~Sean

Cipher
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Re: Famous pieces of repertoire you just don't like?

Post by Cipher » Wed Jun 14, 2017 2:30 pm

Adrian Allan wrote:
Tue Jun 13, 2017 6:36 am
Ray wrote:
Tue Jun 13, 2017 12:34 am
Adrian Allan wrote:
Mon Jun 12, 2017 7:45 pm
El Decameron Negro by Brouwer

For me, it is just written down fingerpicking that makes little musical sense other than how it conveniently fits onto the fretboard.

The first movement is in Sonata Form with clear short thematic motives that are developed and recapitulated. It is quite melodic and the harmony is quite beautiful, colorful, and expressive.
Sonata form? - if so, a very watered down form. How can it be in the space of three minutes?

I would expect introduction, first theme, transition passage, second theme, development section of both themes and then recapitulation of one or both themes. I don't think it even changes key from E minor, which is the default setting for the classical guitar.
Sorry to interject here - I don't know the piece in depth but I have heard it several times. Now it's surely not a full sonata form ala Beethoven's Waldstein Op.53 but it could very well be a short sonatina of sorts like Ponce's Sonata meridional first movement Campo which is definitely a miniature sonata form and is only about 3 or 4 minutes long like the Brouwer Decameron 1st mvmt. So I don't think the short amount of time it takes to play through precludes it from being in sonata form.
However I do take issue about you saying the Decameron 1st mvmt. is in E minor though, where are you getting that this is the key it's in? I don't hear E minor at all, there's no 3rd of the chord (g) to establish that key tonality. I hear more of an E modal sound in the introduction and then it seems to veer into maybe a D flat and then an A centric tonality, it's very ambiguous key-wise until the final two E major chords. Saying it's in E minor and that it follows many other guitar pieces sort of dismisses it and diminishes what is anything but a run-of-the-mill cliche E minor guitar piece, It's much more sophisticated than that harmonically for sure. I suggest you examine the score closely and do some harmonic and form analysis before making incorrect pronouncements about a piece you don't like.

Cipher
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Re: Famous pieces of repertoire you just don't like?

Post by Cipher » Wed Jun 14, 2017 2:45 pm

Altophile wrote:
Tue Jun 13, 2017 10:56 am
Francisco wrote:
Fri Jun 09, 2017 10:40 pm
Igor Stravinsky is known to have said: “Why is it that whenever I hear a piece of music I don't like, it's always by Villa-Lobos?”
Why is it that whenever I hear a piece of music I don't like, it's always by Stravinsky? :-)

~Sean
[/quote

I don't know- surely you must like Stravinsky's Firebird and Petrushka ballets as well as the exciting Symphony in Three Movements, the sonorous Symphony of Wind Instruments and the poetic Symphony of Psalms.

TheCardMaker
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Re: Famous pieces of repertoire you just don't like?

Post by TheCardMaker » Wed Jun 14, 2017 6:58 pm

DavRom wrote:
Thu May 14, 2015 12:52 am
recuerdos de alhambra

just awful with all that mandolin stuff
Hilarious (and true)

Cipher
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Re: Famous pieces of repertoire you just don't like?

Post by Cipher » Wed Jun 14, 2017 7:38 pm

...

Altophile
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Re: Famous pieces of repertoire you just don't like?

Post by Altophile » Wed Jun 14, 2017 11:52 pm

Cipher wrote:
Wed Jun 14, 2017 2:45 pm
Altophile wrote:
Tue Jun 13, 2017 10:56 am
Francisco wrote:
Fri Jun 09, 2017 10:40 pm
Igor Stravinsky is known to have said: “Why is it that whenever I hear a piece of music I don't like, it's always by Villa-Lobos?”
Why is it that whenever I hear a piece of music I don't like, it's always by Stravinsky? :-)

~Sean
[/quote

I don't know- surely you must like Stravinsky's Firebird and Petrushka ballets as well as the exciting Symphony in Three Movements, the sonorous Symphony of Wind Instruments and the poetic Symphony of Psalms.
Sorry, Cipher, I'm not a fan. I'm sure Stravinsky wouldn't take offense, though, in light of his comment about the great Villa-Lobos, whose music I do appreciate very much.

~Sean

Cipher
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Re: Famous pieces of repertoire you just don't like?

Post by Cipher » Thu Jun 15, 2017 4:50 am

Altophile wrote:
Wed Jun 14, 2017 11:52 pm
Cipher wrote:
Wed Jun 14, 2017 2:45 pm
Altophile wrote:
Tue Jun 13, 2017 10:56 am


Why is it that whenever I hear a piece of music I don't like, it's always by Stravinsky? :-)

~Sean
[/quote

I don't know- surely you must like Stravinsky's Firebird and Petrushka ballets as well as the exciting Symphony in Three Movements, the sonorous Symphony of Wind Instruments and the poetic Symphony of Psalms.
Sorry, Cipher, I'm not a fan. I'm sure Stravinsky wouldn't take offense, though, in light of his comment about the great Villa-Lobos, whose music I do appreciate very much.

~Sean
I find it very strange that you like HVL's music but don't like Stravinsky at all? Both use the primal folk tunes and rhythms of their native countries and combine them with modern harmony, so they really have much in common. Besides, I know it's a cute quote but where is the real proof that Stravinsky ever said that about Villa-Lobos? Won't believe it unless it's documented somewhere as absolutely true. Anybody know where this quote is taken from besides the internet lol?

Altophile
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Re: Famous pieces of repertoire you just don't like?

Post by Altophile » Thu Jun 15, 2017 10:03 am

Cipher wrote:
Thu Jun 15, 2017 4:50 am
Altophile wrote:
Wed Jun 14, 2017 11:52 pm
Cipher wrote:
Wed Jun 14, 2017 2:45 pm


Sorry, Cipher, I'm not a fan. I'm sure Stravinsky wouldn't take offense, though, in light of his comment about the great Villa-Lobos, whose music I do appreciate very much.

~Sean
I find it very strange that you like HVL's music but don't like Stravinsky at all?
That's the wonder of human individuality, I guess, and I thank God for it!

~Sean

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zupfgeiger
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Re: Famous pieces of repertoire you just don't like?

Post by zupfgeiger » Thu Jun 15, 2017 10:10 am

There are hundrets of anecdotes documenting the fact that famous composers obviously had (some living ones might still have) problems to live in good terms with famous collegues. As anecdotes often stemm from hearsay a proof will be difficult. Anecdotal quotes are good if they illuminate the character of a person, even if they are fictional. True or invented, I find this particular anecdote amusing.
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Cipher
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Re: Famous pieces of repertoire you just don't like?

Post by Cipher » Fri Jun 16, 2017 1:07 am

Cipher wrote:
Thu Jun 15, 2017 4:50 am

I find it very strange that you like HVL's music but don't like Stravinsky at all?
That's the wonder of human individuality, I guess, and I thank God for it!

~Sean
Many years ago in my youth I had your attitude with regards to liking certain great composers and not liking others at all. I gave no reasons to other music lovers for it, other than this is my individual taste for better or worse.. But then I noticed that many of the great musicians (both instrumentalists and conductors that I idolized and admired from recordings and live concerts) performed with tremendous heart and immense expertise both the composers I loved and the ones I didn't care for.

So I asked myself what kind of sensitive ears do these great musicians have that I can cultivate in my own musical taste to broaden my musical horizons. So I started to listen to a bunch of composers I didn't particularly like: Mahler, Bruckner, Hindemith,Schoenberg and Shostakovich. I picked a few of the more well-known works by these composers and bought recordings that I forced myself to listen to again and again until the musical language became more familiar to me. At this time I took some music theory and ear training courses in college that helped me to understand how music works. All this gave me an appreciation of classical music that I simply didn't have before.

Eventually I knew at least a few pieces from each of the great composers and I began to appreciate more music that I ever did before. I decided that I would rather be somebody like Leonard Bernstein who was equally at home in Beethoven and Mahler's music or somebody like conductor Michael Tilson Thomas who is equally at home with both Stravinsky and Villa-Lobos :D :D :wink:

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