Muad'Dib

The Classical Music Recommendation Thread

1881 posts in this topic

Thought I start this thread to share your favorite classical music works, by any composer you like... Note that I'm refering to "classical music" in the common sense that everyone uses, refering to everything from early Mozart to Penderecki, or more! So, feel free to post any pieces you like and would love everyone else to hear!

I'll start with some of me personal favorites...

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My favourite from The Planets are Saturn and Neptune:

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Aways loved that Saint-Saens and that Vaughan Williams Michael :)

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Modest Mussorgsky, who composed incredible music besides Pictures at an Exhbition and Night on Bald Mountain :)

The Serenade from Songs and Dances of Death

Wonderful Aria from the Opera Khovanshchina (which is an absolutely stunning piece of work)

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Beethoven's Piano Sonatas

Ginastera's Harp Concerto

Rosauro's Marimba Concerto

Bartok's Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta

Any of Debussy's works for piano

Anything by Prokofiev

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Just pick yourself up a copy of Classical Thunder Volumes 1 and 2 for starters.

Fantasia and Fantasia 2000 are also good samplers

Tchaikovsky's Symphonies 4-6, Capriccio Italien, and 1812 Overture (I'm also partial to the man's ballets, but he was my favorite 19th century composer so I'm biased)

Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade

Holst's Suites for Military Band (First in Eb, Second in F)

Ravel's Bolero

Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition

Bizet's Carmen and L'Arlesienne suites

any overture by Rossini

Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen

Elgar's Pomp and Circumstance March No 1 in D Major

Glinka's Ruslan and Ludmilla

Bernstein's Candide Overture

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Does anyone else know and like Alan Hovhaness?

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Yes, indeed. Introduced via Williams's bassoon concerto album.

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Here are my favorites.

Shostakovich: Festive Overture, Symphony No 10

Saint-Saens: "Organ Symphony," Danse Macabre

Tchaikovsky: 6th symphony, the Nutcracker

Stravinsky: The Firebird, the Rite of Spring

Holst: 1st and 2nd suites, the Planets

Rimsky-Korsakov: Scherhezhade (sp)

John Mackey: Strange Humors, Aurora Awakes, King Fishers Catch Fire

Strauss: Allerseelen

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Some great works pointed out here. But I'm surprised no Mahler got mentioned.

That finale is heavenly...

karelm likes this

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My list would be potentially endless, so I give up already :)

I'll just random-pick an all-time favorite:

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Yeah Sibelius!

At 1:47 there must be a world record for peculiar(but beautiful) melody starting with repeating same tone TEN times(marking a swan perhaps?)

Also the transition from third mov to finale starting at 6:11 is very famous mess... ;)

And one for Incanus: have you ever noticed the nice little quote from Vala-laulu(sua suojelemme,verin varjelemme) at 1:12?

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Yeah Sibelius!

At 1:47 there must be a world record for peculiar(but beautiful) melody starting with repeating same tone TEN times(marking a swan perhaps?)

Also the transition from third mov to finale starting at 6:11 is very famous mess... ;)

And one for Incanus: have you ever noticed the nice little quote from Vala-laulu(sua suojelemme,verin varjelemme) at 1:12?

Actually I hadn't noticed that quote before! Thanks for pointing it out. :) A gorgeous piece of work this symphony.

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Oh, useful thread. and I wantedf to start one of my own. ;)

Can anyone recommend me please something?

I'm searching for classical music pieces, kind of minimalistic and dramatic of the last 30 years. (eg. i listened to the 3rd movement of Philip Glass' 8th symphony and I liked it a lot).

I've listened to such soundtracks (eg all the Korzeniowski ones, that I love), but I would like to expand my listening to classical music. I'm not so aquainted with such recent works, but more with older works up until Stravinsky..

by the way: My favourite piece of all time - regarding classical music - is Barber's Adagio for strings.

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Thank you Maurizio. Yes, i've listened to them (these days I'm listening to a lot of John Adams).

I'm looking for something in slower tempo.

I really liked also the 2nd movement of Naive and Sentimental Music.

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One of my all time favourites

This is good for something a bit more modern

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I've been listening to some Tudor/Renaissance music lately

Quite a bit later but also awesome

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The best french horn player who ever walked on this planet Radek Baborak playing

here the first horn part in Schumann's konzertstück for 4 horns. 1st. mov.

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Holy chops of steel, Batman! Ha, if that piece doesn't sell people on classical, I don't know what can!

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Another I just discovered recently...

Gives Wagner's Ring Cycle a run for its money!

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I don't know much about classical music, but I do love a lot of stuff from Shostakovitch. I was introduced to him through Fantasia 2000 (in that regard, the film served is purpose well). To this day, his Piano Concerto No. 2 remains a favourite of mine.

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W. Kilar's opus magnum: Krzesany

Oh, useful thread. and I wantedf to start one of my own. ;)

Can anyone recommend me please something?

I'm searching for classical music pieces, kind of minimalistic and dramatic of the last 30 years. (eg. i listened to the 3rd movement of Philip Glass' 8th symphony and I liked it a lot).

I've listened to such soundtracks (eg all the Korzeniowski ones, that I love), but I would like to expand my listening to classical music. I'm not so aquainted with such recent works, but more with older works up until Stravinsky..

by the way: My favourite piece of all time - regarding classical music - is Barber's Adagio for strings.

If, for a change, you'd like to listen to something calm and soothing, you should try Eric Satie.

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My list, the result of 30 years of careful consideration:

1) Mozart (Requiem, Piano Concerto no. 21, no. 27) and Beethoven (5th Piano Concerto, Choral Fantasy, Mass in C, Triple Concerto)

2) Antonín Dvorák (Heroic Song, Cello Concerto, 9
th
Symphony)

3) Sergei Prokofiev (5th Symphony, Romeo and Juliet, Cinderella)

4) Richard Strauss (Heldenleben, Don Juan, Lieder, Frau Ohne Schatten, Rosenkavalier)

5) Erich Wolfgang Korngold (Captain Blood, Violin Concerto, Violanta, Die Tote Stadt)

6) Gustav Mahler (5th, 2nd, 4th, 6th, 8th, 9th Symphony)

7) William Walton (1st, 2nd Symphony, Battle of Britain Suite)

8) Gustav Holst (The Planets, A Song of the Night)

9) Leonard Bernstein (Divertemento for Orchestra, Candide, On the Town)

10) Dmitri Shostakovitch (5
th
, 9
th
, 10
th
, 12
th
Symphony, 2
nd
Piano Concerto)

11) Sergei Rachmaninoff (4
th
Piano Concerto, 2nd Symphony, Toteninsell, Variations)

12) Giacomo Puccini (Preludio Sinfonico, Suor Angelica Intermezzo, Madam Butterfly)

13) Arnold Schoenberg (Chamber Symphony no.1, Die Verklärte Nacht, Guerrelieder)

14) Alban Berg (Three Orchestral Pieces no. III, Violin Concerto)

15) Witold Lutoslawksi (3
rd
, 4
th
Symphony, Concerto for orchestra mov. 3)

16) Pjotr Ilyich Tschaikovsky (Ballet of Snow Flakes, Nutcracker, Swan Lake)

17) Camille Saint Saëns (La Muse et le Poet, Samson et Delila)

18) Edward Elgar (1
st
Symphony, Nimrod)

19) Richard Wagner (Walkuren Ritt, Feuerzauber, Grane Mein Ross, Tristan und Isolde)

20) Frans Liszt (Les Preludes, Hamlet, Mazeppa)

21) Béla Bartók (Concerto for Orchestra)

22) Emil Nikolaus von Reznicek (Schlemihl)

23) Arthur Honegger (Rugby Symphonic Movement no. 2, Pacific 231)

24) Alexander von Zemlinsky (Die Seejungfrau, Sarema)

25) Einojuhani Rautavaara (Angels)

26) Igor Stravinsky (Fire Bird, Le Sacre du Printemps)

27) Darius Milhaud (Le Boeuf Sur Le Toit, Le Creation du Monde)

28) George Gershwin (Girl Crazy, An American in Paris)

29) Emanuel Chabrier (Espana, Gwendoline Ouverture, Fete Polonaise)

30) Maurice Ravel (La Valse, The Fairy Garden, Pavane pour une Enfante Defunte)

31) Aram Khatchaturian (Violin Concerto)

32) Ottorino Respighi (War Dance - Belkis, Queen of Sheba)

Also I must say there have been almost none but excellent suggestions already been done in the posts above.

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I have a small classical collection, generally limited to those that sound rather like film scores, with a memorable melody. Most have also been used in some form of media:

Including:

Horn Concerto (used in an audio adaptation of Fantastic Mr Fox)

The Planets (mainly Jupiter and Mars)

Minuet (used in a kiddie's TV show years ago)

Music for Strings (Bartok)

Rondo

William Tell Overture

Romance-Largetto/Rondo Alla Turca (The Truman Show)

Bolero (a BBC space drama)

Also last year I discovered Ludovico Einaudi who composes contemporary classical with piano. All of his pieces revolve around a motif of some sort, and usually feature very interesting use of chords, in which I find more emotion.

But really, I can enjoy anything that's got a melody. Rob Dougan wrote a beautiful string piece called Instrumental, which I discovered after hearing another song on Top Gear some years ago.

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Had no idea there were so many :)

You're talking about classical music. "Horn concerto" isn't a title. It's just what it is: A concert for horn and orchestra. Just like Williams wrote flute, violin, cello etc. concertos. There are tons of those out there, often several by a single composer.

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Had no idea there were so many :)

Horn Concerto (used in an audio adaptation of Fantastic Mr Fox)

Minuet (used in a kiddie's TV show years ago)

Rondo

The same is true of "Minuet" and "Rondo." A minuet is just a type of dance of French origin, usually in 3/4 time, while a rondo can mean different things, either a fast and vivacious piece of music or a type of music that repeats itself.

The fact that such generic musical terms are used for the titles of various pieces makes naming classical music files in a tidy music collection very challenging. What constitutes a title? Simply the composer's description, or also the name of the piece and its op. number? What is the album -- the name of the piece, which makes for a lot of small albums, or do you group them based on the composer and type of work, like "Beethoven Sonatas" and "Mozart Symphonies," or simply the CD you bought? Who is the artist -- the composer, the conductor, the performing group?

Take the third movement -- Alla Turca: Allegretto in A minor and major -- of Mozart's Piano Sonata No. 11 in A major, K 331. "Turkish Rondo" sounds a lot more familiar.

So whose minuet and rondo did you mean?

Personally, I prefer the Minuet as played by Carolyn McCormick.

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Organizing my classical collection is practically the most difficult task in the world. Particularly those albums that feature the works of multiple composers and more than one conductor or orchestra.

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I tend to organize by composer instead of conductor or orchestra, at least until I hit the saturation point when I find different performances of the same piece or a special reason to favor the specific album.

For example, a five-disc sampler of "classical music" by anybody from JS Bach to Gershwin was eventually split so that the tracks were grouped into folders by artists, which eventually may become albums of "Pieces by _______."

For albums like the Classical Thunder set, on the other hand, or the Fantasia albums, or albums that intentionally feature music conducted by Lenny Bernstein or the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, I don't split them up by composer -- because I probably have the pieces elsewhere by virtue of miscellaneous downloads over the years or other albums that I dissected -- because the albums are noteworthy in and of themselves.

Now that I have at least two different performances of Scheherazade, or Rite of Spring (outside of Fantasia), or the Nutcracker (again, outside of Fantasia), it becomes a little more important to distinguish by composer or orchestra, but I can put that information into the album title or even on the album art if it's high enough resolution, since I won't be searching by such data until I get X number of albums by that entity.

I don't really want my iPod "Artist" tag to be cluttered with composers for some pieces/albums and conductors for others, because I'm generally not interested in who conducted certain pieces, especially if they only conduct one album. Take "Alien," for example. It's not classical, but do you make the artist "Jerry Goldsmith," "Lionel Newman," or "National Philharmonic Orchestra?" Which is the most interesting to sort by, that adds value to a sort as opposed to that which you can find out by a Google search or a walk to the CD shelf? If I had a dozen albums conducted by Lionel Newman, maybe, but I know I don't. I don't keep tabs on who conducts soundtracks if it's not the composer, unless it's somebody unique like Charles Gerhardt. For his albums, I make him the Artist that the iPod sorts by instead of someone I "know," like JW for Gerhardt's Star Wars albums.

Another big question is, do I tag them as "First Name Last Name" or "Last Name, First Name." Because most auto-tagging software and online vendors sell "Billy Joel" and "John Williams" and "Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart," but the CD stores file by the last name. Sorting by last name is logical, but when the collection spans so many genres -- rock, classical, pop, film scores, and a whole lot of other -- it becomes a pain to overhaul at any point. I mean, do you want both Johann and Richard Strauss to be beside each other in the artist list, or do you want Richard Strauss and Richard Wagner to be together? And do you have the cranial capacity to remember that Rimsky-Korsakov's first name is Nicolai if you need some Capriccio Espagnol? Sting and Vangelis make sorting easy.

I have observed that if I connect my iPod to a computer without iTunes to charge, the library will often re-sort itself so that all albums that begin with "A," "An," or "The" will now find themselves in the A or T section, instead of where you thought they should go. iTunes seems to be smart enough to ignore those words, but other programs aren't, which compels me to manually put those articles after the keywords of album titles and artist names just so I don't have to use iTunes.

~*~

This is why I don't use Listen.FM or upload to the CDDB, because I don't want to be "that guy" accused of messing up the way other people tag music with little or no thought. My tagging is a closed system.

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