Find out what do people working in the classical music streaming service consider as their classical guilty pleasure
There it is, that one piece of music which you have been listening to on repeat. However, deep inside, you have some conflicting emotions towards it. Perhaps you know that the piece sounds tacky, people find it overrated, or there is something problematic buried within the theme or lyrics of the piece. Yet, you have chosen to acknowledge these shortcomings, and continue enjoying it whenever you wish. Here at Primephonic, we have asked some staff members to share some of their ‘guilty pleasures’ which are either classical music, or are simply related to it.
To start off, we have our catalogue team, the people who are in charge of organising and building Primephonic’s music database. Our catalogue editor Liam, has chosenDifferent TrainsbySteve Reich, a piece that he would often listen to for multiple times a day to help him focus on university work back in London. In this late 20-century piece, Reich used a string quartet and pre-recorded sounds of interviews, train announcements and sirens from the Second World War period. “I find it so fascinating and interesting on how he has used real audio and composed a melody around the vocal pitches,” said Liam. “It drove my flatmates wild as they found it so annoying as I used to play it so loud, and they even used to call it ‘the stupid train song’”.
Image by Nonesuch Records
Another catalogue editor, David, has selected a recording ofGershon Kingsley’sPopcorn, arranged bySylvia Rosinand performed with three recorders by theBerlin Dreiklang Ensemble. This makes it one of the several examples of music that pushes the “classical music” boundaries. Originally a synth-pop instrumental, David played a xylophone variation of this piece while starting out with learning classical percussion, hence making him associate the arrangement’s instrumentation and note-by-note writing style with classical music. He felt nostalgic for its melody and as soon as he heard it again, while researching that composer at Primephonic, he rekindled his appreciation for it. The wordplay involved in the title is also worth mentioning, as it can either refer to the piece’s staccato-styled performance, or ‘corny and kitschy’ ‘popular music’ in the words ‘pop’ and ‘corn’.
Image by Profil
While there is a mix of pieces from traditional and contemporary Western classical music from our staff, there are also pieces that one may not fully consider it to be ‘classical’, such as music being performed or covered by classical music instruments or musicians. It was still a surprise to see the variation in choice when asked to share something related to this topic, yet entertaining to hear stories or anecdotes behind their choices.
Do you have a classical ‘guilty pleasure’ too? Is it a piece that has been performed everywhere, yet, you still enjoy it? Or something that you think sounds unusual to others but interesting to you? We would love to know all about it.