Lately I’ve been reflecting on one of life’s greatest paradoxes: that classical music can be intimidating. It only takes a few moments of sitting with the thought for the absurdity of it to bleed through. It’s like saying ‘I saw the most terrifying field of sunflowers the other day’….someone might think you had suffered a head injury and call for help. Yet, some of us have experienced hesitancy when approaching classical music. Fortunately, Roon cures that reluctance and makes exploration a pleasure.
Roon subscribers are uncommonly knowledgeable across an incredible range of musical forms. They’re all on display in the What Are We Listening To thread of our Community forums. They know classical music particularly well, and they love to talk about it. Many of the descriptions that accompany their listening choices are simply radiant in their perception and appreciation. Their suggestions stimulate interest, and with a streaming service integrated in Roon, they’re all right there waiting at the end of a search. It’s really that easy! It’s still somewhat stupefyingly unimaginable, to those of us who were hanging around music stores 30 years ago, that music can be found and heard so effortlessly… it’s science fiction for music heads. The next thing you know you’ll have added 160 definitive classical compositions to your Roon library. And, without even a twinge of hesitation.
My Roon classical journey was jump-started with an RCA Red Seal discovery: Gregor Piatigorsky’s Dvorak; Walton: Cello Concertos. It’s a lively conversation between Piatigorsky and the Orchestra; the cello and the symphony exchange voices in vibrant repartee. A listener doesn’t have to be fluent in classical music to know there’s something special happening on this recording.
From there, Roon recommended a handful of other RCA Living Stereo and Red Seal classics. I selected one that featured Jascha Heifetz performing Violin Concertos by Sibelius, Prokofiev, and Glazunov. It’s absolutely stunning to me that Roon made it so easy to find an album as remarkable as this one. I can’t imagine being able to accomplish this so seamlessly anywhere else but in Roon. This album is packed with imagination and drama, richly painted as sound. I’ve listened to it nearly everyday since I added it.
My most recent find required no effort at all. It was shared by a community member, Sjaak D, in response to last month’s Roon Rediscoveries story. It’s a Philips collection by Mitsuko Uchida, Mozart: The Piano Sonatas. Sjaak recalled an evening years ago when he returned home to find his Hi-Fi and modest collection of discs stolen, including this one. And how, despite auditioning several collections of Mozart’s Piano Sonatas over a number of years, none exhibited the same zest or excitement demonstrated by the Uchida set. His longing went unsatiated until he was able to secure another copy of this specific collection. It only takes listening to a few pieces on this set to understand why.
Immediately thereafter another community member, Christian_S, affirmed the brilliance of Uchida’s performance. An instant bond was formed between two people who have never met, but are simpatico in their deep appreciation of music. This is how friendships are born. Any album that sparks a connection like that has a place in my library.
That’s Roon, everyday. I get to be part of that, and if you’re a Roon subscriber you know what I’m talking about. In Roon you’ll discover the Community vibe of a great record store and all the inventory you could ever want, right under your fingertips. Each great album and accompanying conversation leads the way to another. The music never stops.
So, while we have you, what Classical performances do we need to hear? This music is too good to go unheard. If you know it well and love it, help us to know it and appreciate it too. Tell us here, and we’ll share your recommendations in our upcoming listener-curated playlists.