HELP Classically ignorant, need vinyl insight

Getting back into vinyl after 20+ years and need some advice. I just purchased a TT and now I need records to play on it. I'd like to start my vinyl collection with "classical" but I'm clueless as to were to begin. I need help on what albums and composers to look for. I do like the following:

1. French horn music
2. String music
3. Melancholy music, the type that makes your bones ache.
4. Conan the Barbarian music. You know the kind that makes you want to get on your horse and impale someone.

Any and all suggestions most welcome. By the way, I wasn't sure if I should post this here or in "music". I chose this as I only wanted TT advocates advice.

Also I need to get record cleaning supplies, what do I need and where can I get it?
As a departure from the straight and narrow classical/orchestral offerings, I've recently delved into orchestral movie soundtracks - my favorites from recent movies...

Lord of the Rings - all 3!
Pirates of the Caribbean - Dead Man's Chest
Snow Falling on Cedars
The Red Violin

and, although not necessarily orchestral (more world-music), I love Peter Gabriel's "Passion" (music from the movie "The Last Temptation of Christ").

If you try and like some of these recommendations, I'll be happy to provide more...

Happy listening!
Rtenyes, the scope of the topic is vast. You may find a good starting point by perusing some of the threads listed here:

Audiogon Classical Music Threads

As to cleaning supplies, I recommend Walker Audio Prelude record cleaning fluids and brushes coupled with a VPI 16.5 (or 17F) record cleaning machine to vacuum off the fluid residue. The commercial cleaning fluid makes a major difference in the quality of the results.
1. French horn music

Mozart French Horn concertos and the Posthorn Serenade.

2. String music

Haydn string quartets are a good start. He invented the form and they sound great on LP.

3. Melancholy music, the type that makes your bones ache.

Brahms trios and other chamber music. I have a '60s-era recording of Brahms trios on RCA--Artur Rubinstein piano, Henryk Szeryng violin, and (I forget) cello. Dark and melancholy.

Liszt and Mussorgsky are also quite passionate and can be rather dark-sounding.

4. Conan the Barbarian music. You know the kind that makes you want to get on your horse and impale someone.

Respighi: He wrote the book on this stuff and must be the first guy they study in filmscoring 101. Listen to his Rome trilogy--Fountains of Rome, Festivals of Rome, and Pines of Rome. You'll hear the inspiration for lots of sword 'n' sandal sountracks as well as John Williams. Shostakovich orchestral, Holst--The Planets; Richard Wagner--Ride of the Valkries. Also, Ravel or Debussy orchestrated versions of works by Mussorgsky such as Night on Bald Mountain and Pictures at an Exhibition.

Oh, yeah, and a lot of Debussy orchestral music, especially La Mer and his three nocturns, Nuages (clouds), Fetes (festivals), and Sirenes (sirens--as in the singing goddess types). Fetes especially sounds like a horse-riding, impaling sort of thing.

Stravinsky--Rite of Spring.

Come to think of it, you may want to rent both Disney films, Fantasia and Fantasia 2000 to familiarize yourself with several genres of classical music.
I would HIGHLY recommend the "now re-issued again" EMI boxed set of Ravel's Orchestral music!!

Cluytens was one of "the" Ravel interpreters,and it is a GORGEOUS multi disc album!!Amazingly good sounding,and though it ain't cheap,it will light any music lover's fire.

Of virtually every silly post I have ever made,THIS is the one I am most serious about!!

For once,someone will thank me,if you buy this masterpiece!!

Good luck.

Btw,I'd take a look at some of the online LP vendors,like The Classical Collector.Owned by Jerry Cantor...a super honest guy!...Don't spend any money until you've given yourself some time to familiarize yourself with pricing and desireability.

This was the "most" fun to me,when I began "a long time ago"!!
I also love the Bizet orchestral suites, particularly the Carmen and L'Arlesienne suites.

I particularly like the one on Columbia of Stokowsky conducting the National Symphony Orch. for the Bizet suites, for performance, hall acoustics, and sound quality.
Welcome back to vinyl - we've been waiting for you.

French Horn -
Franz Danzi: Concerto for Waldhorn
Strauss: various Horn concertos
Teleman: Horn Concerto
standard horn joke: the difference between a French horn and a lawn mower is that you can tune a lawn mower. (heh :-)

String music -
Felix Mendelssohn: Overture 'The Herbrides' - Fingal's Cave
Vaughan Williams: The Lark Ascending
Rodrigo: Concierto de Aranjuez

Melancholy -
Rachmaninov: Isle of the Dead (pensive, forboding) and his Symphony No.2 - at least the start - find the Slatkin on Reference if you can.
Tchaikovsky: 6th Symphony, 'Pathetique' pretty much says it - Mehta's is good

Conan -
Brahms: Schicksalslied 'Song of Destiny' - I love big choral
Basil Poledouris: various Conan soundtracks on vinyl
And of course Wagner, already mentioned

For classical with nice sonics, here's a starter list

Wrt record cleaning, I use a Loricraft 3 and the Walker Prelude system augmented with Nerl Reagent Grade water.
String and melancoly try Strauss Metamorphosen, Albinoni's Adagio, Gorecki.
As for music to impale someone with, I don't think we dare tell you. Have you heard Woody Allen's comment about Wagner. He said he loved the music, but every time he heard it, he wanted to rush off and invade Poland. Poor taste I know, but very witty.

"Have you heard Woody Allen's comment about Wagner. He said he loved the music, but every time he heard it, he wanted to rush off and invade Poland".

Had I not just swallowed my coffee I would have spewed it all over the screen!

Thanks to all who have responded, it is very much appreciated.
Thanks to all for some excellent suggestions. Especially to Rtenyes for posting the question.
My suggestion to anyone getting into vinyl: hit the Goodwills and used record stores. Only buy mint condition, don't be tempted by less than mint.
There are treasures to be had.
Enjoy the hunt!
The thing about Wagner is its not nearly as bad as it sounds.
It might be best to start with Baroque that is a most approachable form of Classical and then work your way along.
Bach and Mozart are a great place to start. Handel, Hayden and Corelli are also in the same vein.
You are starting on a great of luck and enjoy (you will).


Here's some suggestions for string music:

Bartok Divertimento Decca SXL 6026 (Has been reissued)

EMI ASD 521 Barbirolli conducts English String Music by Elgar & Vaughan Williams. (Been reissued)

Martinu Concerto for Two String Orchestra, Piano & Timpani on Supraphon. Powerfull work written at the start of WWII in 1939 like the Bartok above.

Frank Martin wrote several pieces for string orchestra: Passacaille for String Orchestra and Etudes for String Orchestra - both on London/Decca

Bloch Concerto Grosso 1 & 2 on Mercury SR90223

Bliss Music for Strings Lyrita SCRS 33

Szervansky Sernade for String Orchestra Qualiton LPX 1085. Mono but nice, especially the middle slow movement.

Ernst Hermann Meyer Symphonie for String Orchestra Nova 885110

Sarai Sernade for Strings Hungaroton LPX 11636 (This is stereo).

David Diamond Rounds for Strings. There's a Columbia recording of this with Bernstein conducting if my memory is correct. I can't lay my hands on the record to be sure.

I have Pye record (GSGC 14042) that has the Rawsthorne Concerto for String Orchestra the Berkeley Sernade for Strings on it. I think Pye is a reissue label and these probably were originally issued on either EMI or Decca.

Have fun and enjoy.

The thing about Wagner is its not nearly as bad as it sounds. Rccc

That's Woody Allen, the best comedy is usually in bad taste. My favourite comedy film is "the Producers", by Mel Brooks
Who can forget the immortal lyrics
" Springtime for Hitler and Germany, winter for Poland and France"
Just perfect bad taste.
As far as melancholy music, may I suggest the Rachmaninov Elegiac Piano Trios. They're on the Chandos label, Borodin Trio. Also try the Dvorak "Dumky Trio," also on the Chandos Label. Definite "wrist slashers!" Some parts of Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet will give you goosebumps and tears at the same time. My version I believe is on the London label with Lorin Maazel.

For Conan music, try some Berlioz overtures, Rob Roy in particular. Very demanding on the brass section. Chandos label again.

Now... string music: that spans a wide range. Do you like solo, concertos, chamber, etc. Time period? Baroque (period pitch and instruments is best IMO), Classical, Romantic, 20th century, Avant Garde? Some things that immediately come to mind are the later Mozart quarters, Brahms Serenades, Brahms Sextets. For starters, you might consider the Bach Brandenburg Concerti.

Oh, and a combination of two of your desires, string and melancholy: try music for string orchestra by English composers e.g. Vaughn Williams, Barber, Elgar, Warlock. There is a version of Vaughn Williams Fantasia on a Theme by Tallis that will make you cry. Its conducted by Morton Gould on RCA Red Seal. It would be great to snag a copy of that. Very cliche' but Barber's Adagio for Strings. Consider Elgar-Intro and Allegro. Oh, Vaughn Williams "The Lark Ascending." - Hugh Bean Solo violinist Sir Adrian Boult conducting.

If you want to hear demanding french horn music, I can't think of any solo or concertos but some symphonies where there are some very prominent and difficult french horn passages in symphonnic music e.g. Dvorak Synphony 8 and 9 (9 I suggest Slatkin on the Telarc label Slatkin conducting, 8 with Kubleik on DGG.

Hope this helps without sounding like a snob. All the best.
(This was posted a while ago, but I have no idea where it ended up)

I was watching Samurai Jack last night when one of the characters appears with bagpipes. I forgot how much I love the pipes.
Yes I admit that I watch cartoons, which gives (some) credence to my mother-in-laws low opinion of me, but I figure any cartoon that features bagpipes is pretty high-brow.
Anyway, I'm looking for suggestions for great bagpipes on vinyl.

Thanks again to all who have responded, I've started w/your suggestions.