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The Classical Music Recommendation Thread

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I'll be hearing the Philly Orchestra perform Dvorak 9 and Scheherezade tomorrow night as part of their Stokowski Celebration, two of my favorite works. It'll be awesome. Of course, the REAL treat is Saturday night...

Bach: Toccata and Fugue D minor

Tchaikovsky: Nutcracker Suite (Performed to Fantasia film clip)

Dukas: The Sorceror's Apprentice (Performed to Fantasia clip)

Bernstein: Symphonic Dances from West Side Story

Stravinsky: Firebird Suite

Wagner: Ride of the Valkyries

That will be a knock out show!

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I'll be hearing the Philly Orchestra perform Dvorak 9 and Scheherezade tomorrow night as part of their Stokowski Celebration, two of my favorite works. It'll be awesome. Of course, the REAL treat is Saturday night...

Bach: Toccata and Fugue D minor

Tchaikovsky: Nutcracker Suite (Performed to Fantasia film clip)

Dukas: The Sorceror's Apprentice (Performed to Fantasia clip)

Bernstein: Symphonic Dances from West Side Story

Stravinsky: Firebird Suite

Wagner: Ride of the Valkyries

That will be a knock out show!

Never got this enthusiasm for Scheherazade. IMO it is one of the most boring and overrated pieces in the history of music.

Your other picks are great!

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Scheherazade is fun. I like it, but I also don't quite understand the exaggerated praise it often gets.

For Wagner, I just think that the orchestral version of Valkyries pales in comparison to the full opera cue. And it's not even the highlight of the opera, either. ;)

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Scheherazade is fun. I like it, but I also don't quite understand the exaggerated praise it often gets.

For Wagner, I just think that the orchestral version of Valkyries pales in comparison to the full opera cue. And it's not even the highlight of the opera, either. ;)

This is my fav moment :)

[media=]

Note the Walkuere and the Feuerzauber themes juxtaposed.

Play it loud with the windows open!

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The horn statement at 0:29. is perhaps my favourite rendition of the the valkyrie theme. Compare the fire music to the alternate funeral pyre cue from ROTJ.

But importantly, the wonderful salvation motif at 0:39. Though my favourite versions of it are its first appearance near the end of Die Walküre and obvously the orchestral finale of Götterdämmerung, in counterpoint with the beautiful rhinemaiden motif (just a few minutes after this clip). Another fantastic moment is when, during Walküre's glorious climax, Wotan first sings the Siegfried motif (without mentioning him by name or himself knowing that he is in fact referring to him).

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Those are great mentions, Marian. And the sung statement of Siegfried's theme at the end of Wlakure is simply spine tingling. I've always loved the fate theme in that scene as well.

BUt my favorite leitmotif from the Ring Cycle is probably the Walsung theme

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If ever there was a reason to learn German, it would be to sit through fourteen hours of Wagner's Ring Cycle. As it stands, I simply cannot because the singing is just gibberish and loses all coherent meaning.

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If you become familiar enough with the meaning of the various leitmotifs and familiarize yourself with the general plot, it's really not that hard to follow

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!

Quite possibly my favorite classical piece.

That's my favorite piece from the suite; the entire thing marvels such bright expansive epicness.

For spirit:

This 2 minute sequence at the beginning is pure spirit. One of the best melodies I've heard.

For emotion:

As far as classical style perfection goes, 9:03 - 9:43. The whole piece is an overlooked token of passion.

[media=]

John Williams is my favorite composer and source of music.

Other than that my top are:

1) Tchaikovsky

2) Borodin

3) Kondo

4) Rachmaninov

5) Holst

6) Beethoven

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If you become familiar enough with the meaning of the various leitmotifs and familiarize yourself with the general plot, it's really not that hard to follow

Well, there are some instance where Wagner's brilliance lies in coupling lyrics with different leitmotifs to emphasize something that's not in the text. Not knowing the lyrics definitely means the cycle loses a whole dimension. I'd recommend subtitles - either on DVD/Blu, or in a live performance. I know the language and I needed a few live viewings of the operas to really get into them anyway.

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I know they've already been mentioned, but one can never mention The Planets, The Firebird, and The Rite of Spring too many times. I can't imagine anyone who enjoys Williams NOT enjoying those.

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Nobody has posted this yet?

[media=]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wBfKXHoSvDM

I think I have in my list :-)

The horn statement at 0:29. is perhaps my favourite rendition of the the valkyrie theme. Compare the fire music to the alternate funeral pyre cue from ROTJ.

But importantly, the wonderful salvation motif at 0:39. Though my favourite versions of it are its first appearance near the end of Die Walküre and obvously the orchestral finale of Götterdämmerung, in counterpoint with the beautiful rhinemaiden motif (just a few minutes after this clip). Another fantastic moment is when, during Walküre's glorious climax, Wotan first sings the Siegfried motif (without mentioning him by name or himself knowing that he is in fact referring to him).

Indeed wonderful.

If ever there was a reason to learn German, it would be to sit through fourteen hours of Wagner's Ring Cycle. As it stands, I simply cannot because the singing is just gibberish and loses all coherent meaning.

I think even a native German speaker might have difficulty following the lyrics. The power is in the music in the first place, just get acquainted with the storylines.

I know they've already been mentioned, but one can never mention The Planets, The Firebird, and The Rite of Spring too many times. I can't imagine anyone who enjoys Williams NOT enjoying those.

I had my period where Stravinsky was one my absolute favorites...but he has lost his position ultimately to the much more daring Prokofiev and the more unique Schoenberg.

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Great choice, Marian, it should've been mentioned earlier (Y)

Nos. 7 and 8 are my favourite Beethoven symphonies. I always have a feeling that among the general public, they're sadly neglected wedged in between the popular Nos. 5, 6 and 9.

I think even a native German speaker might have difficulty following the lyrics. The power is in the music in the first place, just get acquainted with the storylines.

With later Wagner, and even more so Strauss and his famous librettists, I think the actual lyrics are much more important than in many earlier operas, where a general understanding of the plot may be sufficient to get the big picture.

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I agree. I never listen to The Ring unless I know I'll have time to sit down and follow with the libretto or the score. I've actually been considering writing in the translations into my scores so I can just use those, but that would be incredibly time consuming...

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Guys, I'm looking for a specific kind of recommendation this time: I'm looking for savage classical music, almost primal in it's nature. Of course, Rite of Spring is the first and best example out of this -one of my favorite pieces of all time, I try to listen to it almost daily-, but I imagine there's more. For example, Stravinsky's Les Noces and Ginastera's Popol Vuh and Cantata Para América Mágica also have that primal and prehistoric nature... I would love to hear more in that vein, and any recommendations would be most gladly appreciated :)

Thanks in advance!

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Guys, I'm looking for a specific kind of recommendation this time: I'm looking for savage classical music, almost primal in it's nature. Of course, Rite of Spring is the first and best example out of this -one of my favorite pieces of all time, I try to listen to it almost daily-, but I imagine there's more. For example, Stravinsky's Les Noces and Ginastera's Popol Vuh and Cantata Para América Mágica also have that primal and prehistoric nature... I would love to hear more in that vein, and any recommendations would be most gladly appreciated :)

Thanks in advance!

Definitely check out the Scythian Suite by Prokofiev, if you don't know it already! ;)

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Thanks, guys! I'm quite familiar with Alexander Nevsky (and Ivan the Terrible too) but I'm not very familiar with the Scythian Suite so I'll definetly check it out :)

Thanks again! If you can think of more, keep 'em coming ;)

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Guys, I'm looking for a specific kind of recommendation this time: I'm looking for savage classical music, almost primal in it's nature.

Michael, I would heartily recommend La Noche de los Mayas by the Mexican composer Silvestre Revueltas. It is a four movement suite based on his film score for the 1939 film of the same name. I heard the LSO perform it a few years ago under Kristjan Jaarvi and it blew me away, especially the last movement 'La Noche de Encantamiento'.

[media=]

A real field day for the percussionists!

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It's one of the most brutal pieces of orchestral music I have ever heard. It must be quite something to hear it live

Absolutely. Can you recommend a recording? I have the Barshai box with all the symphonies, and they're all good recordings, but certainly there are better ones of at least individual symphonies. No. 11 is one where I'd really like to get a first rate recording.

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It's one of the most brutal pieces of orchestral music I have ever heard. It must be quite something to hear it live

Absolutely. Can you recommend a recording? I have the Barshai box with all the symphonies, and they're all good recordings, but certainly there are better ones of at least individual symphonies. No. 11 is one where I'd really like to get a first rate recording.

I have two recordings. One by Haitink with the Concertgebouw and the other from the more recent Naxos cycle by Petrenko. They're both top notch, in my view, but I'd give a slight edge to Haitink, although I reckon the cd is a bit hard to track down

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And nobody did the 7th as spot on as Celibidache. Great pick!

I've never been able to understand Bruckner, although I tried. It doesn't have the same musical quality as Wagner, Richard Strauss or Gustav Mahler regarding form, thematics or orchestration, to my ears. His symphonies are a burden to listen to. I think they might well reflect his personal life...which might be the reason I cannot really identify with his music.

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Maybe Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake? The famous bit: Act 2/10: Scene: Moderato, Danses Des Cygnes

A true classic. I always felt that it sounds extremely progressive for the time it was written.

Personally, I really adore Chopin. His music sounds very personal, almost too intimate.

But I still haven't found something that does more for me than his "Fantaisie Impromptu".

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