The Music Hall

As I said in the foyer, my tastes in music are varied. If you came here because you love a cappella music, you may want to skip over to the Chapel to hear all about my favourite groups. If, by chance, you are fond of guitar music I can tell you all about my two favourite guitarists, Stephen Bennett and Tommy Emmanuel. Or you can continue here where I talk mostly about classical music and musicals, then check out the others later.

I love classical music and that love goes hand in hand with my love for ballet in that much of my favourite music is ballet music. It should therefore come as no surprise that one of my favourite composers is Tchaikovsky. I love Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, and Swan Lake, and also the Pathetique symphony and the 1812 Overture. (Though you haven't really heard the 1812 until you've heard it performed by the Swingle Singers, trust me. ;~))

When I think of Tchaikovsky, my thoughts soon turn to Prokofiev and vise versa. Well, they're both Russian and they both have written beautiful music for Romeo and Juliet. Where Tchaikovsky's music is romantic, Prokofiev's is powerful. My favourites of his are Cinderella, Romeo and Juliet, the Prodigal Son, and Peter and the Wolf.

Sibelius is another good one. He brings a very different quality to his symphonies and other works, which I suppose may come from his Finnish roots. My favourite piece of his is the hauntingly beautiful Valse Triste, which is about death coming to visit a dying woman. His signature piece, Finlandia is another favourite.

Yet another favourite is Hindemith. I love his modern harmonics and I've liked everything of his that I've heard, but if I had to pick a favourite piece it would be the Four Temperaments. While we're on modern composers, I should mention Stravinsky (Firebird, Petrouchka, Rite of Spring) and Dvorak (New World Symphony). And in the film music genre, John Williams (Star Wars) and Howard Shore (Lord of the Rings).

But my tastes aren't restricted to modern composers. I also like Vivaldi and his concertos for mandolin, recorder, and other early instruments; J.S. Bach for his powerful organ works; P.D.Q. Bach for...well, okay, in the strictest sense he counts as a modern composer since he's really Peter Schickele, but I love everything he's ever perpetrated! I think Mozart writes the best operas and my favourite is the Magic Flute.

Finally, I like a lot of Andrew Lloyd Webber's works. Cats is my favourite (of course!) and I think his best effort. But Starlight Express runs a pretty close second. To hear more about my passion for Cats click on the link below.

The Bricklayer's Arms

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