1000 Recordings to Hear Before You Die

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1000 Recordings to Hear Before You Die

Postby keith from ny » Sat Jan 03, 2009 9:18 pm

I think every music lover should have this book by Tom Moon. Someone on the OtR forum posted a link to the website with the author's list last week, and I was only through the "B"s and already finding a number of personal favorites not many people seem to know about (Johnny Adams sings Doc Pomus, RL Burnside's Wish I Was In Heaven Sitting Down and Buckwheat's Zydeco Party). So I bought the book for $14 from Amazon and I'm really glad I did. I don't agree with Moon's picks all the time of course, but the record reviews are consistently well written regardless. The downside is that I may be spending a small fortune adding to my CD collection!
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Re: 1000 Recordings to Hear Before You Die

Postby TontoBronto » Sat Jan 03, 2009 11:08 pm

keith from ny wrote:..... The downside is that I may be spending a small fortune adding to my CD collection!

Thanks for posting the link (I think). :shock:
Just ordered John Martyn, PJ Harvey & Freddie Hubbard (RIP).
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Postby Hugues » Sun Jan 04, 2009 12:23 pm

I don't want to sound critical toward Moon's list, but come on, I know 10.000 records which are better than Ryan Adams' boring Heartbreaker already. :roll:
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Postby keith from ny » Sun Jan 04, 2009 1:55 pm

Hugues wrote:I don't want to sound critical toward Moon's list, but come on, I know 10.000 records which are better than Ryan Adams' boring Heartbreaker already. :roll:

Heartbreaker would actually be on my top 100 list.
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Postby Russell » Sun Jan 04, 2009 3:12 pm

keith from ny wrote:
Hugues wrote:I don't want to sound critical toward Moon's list, but come on, I know 10.000 records which are better than Ryan Adams' boring Heartbreaker already. :roll:

Heartbreaker would actually be on my top 100 list.

Well, I guess that's just the nature of lists like this that there will be a lot of disagreement with what is excluded and what is included. But I would have to think ANY list of 1000 must hear recordings would include at least one Jefferson Airplane (in particular "Surrealistic Pillow"), at least one Tom Petty (in particular "Damn the Torpedoes"), at least one Mary Chapin Carpenter (in particular "Stones in the Road"), at least one Dire Straits (pick between "Making Movies" and "Dire Straits"), the Byrds "Sweetheart of the Rodeo", Emmylou Harris' "Wrecking Ball", and the Stones' "Beggars Banquet", and most of all, would include at least one Patty Griffin album.
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Postby keith from ny » Sun Jan 04, 2009 3:33 pm

Oh I have lots of issues with his omissions, beginning with Beethoven's late string quartets (the best music ever composed IMO), and the list is way too heavy on jazz for my taste but that's mainly where the author is coming from. I'm just happy to see a lot of well researched recordings that look to be very worthwhile acquiring.
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Postby Russell » Sun Jan 04, 2009 3:46 pm

keith from ny wrote:Oh I have lots of issues with his omissions, beginning with Beethoven's late string quartets (the best music ever composed IMO), and the list is way too heavy on jazz for my taste but that's mainly where the author is coming from. I'm just happy to see a lot of well researched recordings that look to be very worthwhile acquiring.

As you pretty much indicated from the start, the reviews in the book are probably what is helpful, not the list itself. Anyone can put a list together, providing useful reviews is a lot tougher. So your point is well taken.

As far as classical, I tend to favor Mozart over Beethoven. I'm enjoying The Nash Ensemble's Piano Quartet in G Minor as I type right now. But I'm definitely not qualified to say what the best classical recordings might be (same goes for hip-hop).
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Postby keith from ny » Sun Jan 04, 2009 6:11 pm

Russell wrote:As far as classical, I tend to favor Mozart over Beethoven. I'm enjoying The Nash Ensemble's Piano Quartet in G Minor as I type right now. But I'm definitely not qualified to say what the best classical recordings might be (same goes for hip-hop).

I don't know that I really "prefer" Beethoven to Mozart. Mozart's later string quartets are incomparably elegant and I love them almost as much as Beethoven's, and certain Beethoven's could never have come about without Mozart's precedent. And from a melodic standpoint Beethoven probably never composed anything quite as lovely as, say, the Clarinet Quintet or the most sublime passages in The Magic Flute. But for me there is something about Beethoven's late quartets and piano sonatas, composed years after the sonic isolation from the world imposed by his deafness was complete, that is so transcendant and otherworldy, and which captures the joy and sorrow of human existence so effortlessly, that they remain my most treasured musical compositions. In the slow movements of Op. 131, 132 and 135, and the Grosse Fugue he essentially invented a new musical language (built on fugue form) to express what had formerly been inexpressible. Mozart only rarely approaches Beethoven's masterful portrayal of human tragedy IMO, perhaps most notably in the G-Minor String Quintet and the Requiem.

I have quite a few classical recordings, but I ultimately found it too expensive to pursue the "best" performances since I never found a critic who had consistently similar preferences to my own. I plan to try one or two of Moon's recommendations for works I don't have.
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Postby Rob » Sun Jan 04, 2009 11:10 pm

Hey Ho, Let's Go!

On the list!

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I'd love to read what he wrote. Sounds like an altogether great book.
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Postby Russell » Mon Jan 05, 2009 6:01 am

keith from ny wrote:Mozart's later string quartets are incomparably elegant and I love them almost as much as Beethoven's, and certain Beethoven's could never have come about without Mozart's precedent. And from a melodic standpoint Beethoven probably never composed anything quite as lovely as, say, the Clarinet Quintet or the most sublime passages in The Magic Flute. But for me there is something about Beethoven's late quartets and piano sonatas, composed years after the sonic isolation from the world imposed by his deafness was complete, that is so transcendant and otherworldy, and which captures the joy and sorrow of human existence so effortlessly, that they remain my most treasured musical compositions. In the slow movements of Op. 131, 132 and 135, and the Grosse Fugue he essentially invented a new musical language (built on fugue form) to express what had formerly been inexpressible. Mozart only rarely approaches Beethoven's masterful portrayal of human tragedy IMO, perhaps most notably in the G-Minor String Quintet and the Requiem.

Well, now I know where to go when I need some insight on classical music. :D Good luck on your search, Keith.
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Postby Hugues » Mon Jan 05, 2009 11:31 am

Russell wrote:and most of all, would include at least one Patty Griffin album.


I wouldn't be surprised if we were all agreeing with this here. :mrgreen:

Classical? Gimme Chopin anyday. :)
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Postby keith from ny » Mon Jan 05, 2009 11:47 am

Hugues wrote:
Russell wrote:and most of all, would include at least one Patty Griffin album.


I wouldn't be surprised if we were all agreeing with this here. :mrgreen:

Indeed! But... which one? :twisted:

(I think they'd probably all be in my top 100)
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Postby scottz » Mon Jan 05, 2009 3:54 pm

I was not surprised to see Prokofiev, and his piano concerto no. 3 near the top of the classical list. Sublime, and truly otherworldly! I first heard this in the movie "The Competition"with Richard Dreyfuss & I think Amy Irving.
I prefer the Evgeny Kissin / Berlin Philharmonic recording on the Deutsche Grammophon label w/ Claudio Abbado conducting.
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Postby keith from ny » Mon Jan 05, 2009 8:30 pm

scottz wrote:I was not surprised to see Prokofiev, and his piano concerto no. 3 near the top of the classical list. Sublime, and truly otherworldly! I first heard this in the movie "The Competition"with Richard Dreyfuss & I think Amy Irving.
I prefer the Evgeny Kissin / Berlin Philharmonic recording on the Deutsche Grammophon label w/ Claudio Abbado conducting.

I also love the Prokofiev #3 and will be ordering the Van Cliburn recording that Moon recommends. Strangely enough, my mother owned Cliburn's Rachmaninoff #3 on vinyl and played it all the time when I was a kid, and apparently it's bundled with the Prokofiev concerto on the CD. I haven't heard that recording for 40+ years (I wasn't nearly as impressed with it as Mom).

I think the list is just ordered alphabetically -- in this case, under C for "Cliburn" (the author sometimes classifies classical recordings according to composer and sometimes according to the primary artist, he provides a crosss-reference in the book).

Haven't heard the Kissin/Abbado recording on DG, I'll have to add that to my list too.

And yes, it was Amy Irving at the other piano in The Competition.
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