Classical Music

I'm one of the people in Benjamin Zander's third group: those who essentially never listen to classical music. To me, classical music has always seemed like brief moments of greatness interspersed with long periods of boredom. I'm too impatient to wade through the doldrums to reach the brief climaxes.

Zander tries to sell his audience on the beauty of classical music and does an admirable job.

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Romantic

brief moments of greatness interspersed with long periods of boredom.

While I wouldn't necessarily agree with the assessment, you might be talking about music from the Romantic period, which seems to me to best fit the claim that the music contains "climaxes". There are also Classical and Baroque periods (and, of course, earlier and later periods). I don't think of Bach's music as containing climaxes - or, if it contains arguable climaxes, none stand out in my memory, so I don't think they can be as central to the music as they seem to be in much Romantic period music.

no climaxes can be good

I enjoy classical music when I'm working (or light jazz elevator kind of music), it helps my productivity I think. lyrics or climaxes that grab my attention can be distracting. regarding boredom ... yes it can get boring if music is your only focus at the moment, but no music at all for me is even more boring

Music

Not all of these should be categorized as classical music proper, I think people have a different sense in what "classical" music is, while the scholars quibble amongst themselves.

John Adams's Nixon in China starts off with a boom. Maybe that would knock you on your ass?

In general I always aim people to Beethoven's Piano Sonatas, Mozart's Piano Concertos, Schubert's quintets (Trout) and Mendelssohn's Songs Without Words, which are taught in music theory for the abundance of modulation.

Throw that n00b Chopin in there as well.

Bach (the best), should come a little later I think (along with Machaut and Palestrina). Not all of Bach's music is as easy to understand and appreciate as "Air."

For a modern ass kicking, just go buy "Conan the Barbarian" - it's a masterpiece, and I mean that in all seriousness.

for classical music without commercials or comments

Try CBC classical on the web. NO interruptions except a quarter hour station name announcement, less than 40 seconds an hour interruption.

Great Guy

I've been to one of his seminars and it was lots of fun. Not sure of the long term benefits since I'm generally a skeptic about these things. He did have good advice however.