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What Are Your 5 Favourite Compete Clasical Works?

Discussion in 'Music & Music Streaming Services' started by Garrett, Dec 21, 2003.

  1. Garrett

    Garrett
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    What is your favourite compete piece of classical work I know may have the favourite single piece taken from a larger working that can be a bit on the heavy side but there are some fantastic complete pieces of work that hold your interest and not boring all the way through apart from the popular bit. He are mine:


    1/ Holst Planet Suit, 7 different pieces of music that depict the planets and there connection with mythology to music, reminds me of a selection box dip your hand in and get a goodie every time. (no Mars bar puns please).

    2/ Rimsky-Korsakov Scheherazade which is based on the stories of 1001 Tales of the Arabian Nights unfortunately only 4 of the stories were wrote.

    3/ Rodriguez Guitar Concerto. I initially bought this for the second piece of work which is a a very stirring romantic piece but found the first and the last part of the work good as well. Not too many classical guitar works out there.


    4/ Tchaikovsky Pathetique this was Tchaikovsky swan song and by some considered to be a suicide note. It contains one of music’s most poignant pieces.

    5/ Vivaldi's The Four Seasons. As the title sucest music that covers the changing of the seasons throughout the year which was brought to the attention of a larger public some years ago by Nigel Kennedy.
     
  2. sticker

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    Can't disagree with any of those picks, something for everyone

    Regards
    John
     
  3. pointon

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    Gotta say I absolutely love 'The Planets'. Really must get this stuff on CD. I have about 50 random tracks on my iPOD, but that's it. Must get more.
     
  4. Garrett

    Garrett
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    At the time Holst wrote The Planet was wrote the planet Pluto was not discovered, what a shame we could have had an other gem of music. :(
     
  5. gringottsdirect

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    Richard Wagner's Der Ring Des Nibelungen has to be my favourite complete classical work, along with his Tannhauser it vividly paints so many images.
    Messerschmitt ME-109s attacking Hawker Hurricanes over France, Auto-Union and Silver Arrow Mercedes leaping over kerbs at pre-war Donington or smashing the opposition around Nurburgring, Frank Williams exploring the limits of hired Ford Sierras whilst whistling along to Gotterdammerung hurrying to airports.
    For some it may be difficult to separate Nazi attachments, but I consider it more alongside Raiders Of The Lost Ark, The Lord Of The Rings and of course, most of all......STAR WARS ! :rolleyes:

    See
    www.trell.org/wagner/starwars.html

    On a less sombre note, I really love listening to fairground steam organs, as they whistle through the classics. :eek:
     
  6. wilber

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    Loads and Loads
    Beethoven Symphonies 5, 7, 9
    Mahler Symphony 4
    Dvorjak Symphony 9 (John Williams must have heard this before writing stuf for Star Wars)
    Mozart Clarinet Concerto, Requiem (And Verdi's too)
    Philip Glass Violin Concerto (plus those by Brahms & Mendelson)
    Holst Folk Song Suite

    And it's complete but short but absolutely gut wrenching - Fantasia on a theme by Thomas Tallsi by R Vaughn-Williams (Brilliantly used in Master & Commander)
     
  7. DeadKenny

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    Would love a complete Beethoven symphonies collection that's any good. I'm a "newbie" to classical stuff really, just having been listening to classic FM for a while and recently got the BBC Beethoven symphony downloads and would love a really great quality SACD or DVD-A of all the symphonies in one package.

    Problem is the reviews I read say some symphonies are better in a particular recording than another, and then some say the best is some ancient old recording done in stereo decades ago, etc, etc.

    Surely there must be a really good multi-channel one on SACD/DVD-A?

    Actually the stuff the BBC did would be great if they released that. The downloads are sadly very poor quality.

    Ah well, it's arguably not a planet anyway ;)
     
  8. shadowritten

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    I'm no classical expert (very far from it!), but over half of my 900 CDs are classical recordings by composers as varied as old favourites like Bach, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Mozart, Dvorak and Brahms, to lesser known names such as Alkan, Finzi, Caldara, Lobos and Suk. From this growing collection, here's my top five complete works:

    1) Rachmaninov: All-night Vigil (AKA 'Vespers') - This early 20th century choral work based on parts of the orthodox Russian liturgy must rank among the most emotive and evocative music ever composed - and is my number one, all-time favourite complete classical work. I actually cried first time I heard parts of it - it's truly that beautiful. The recordings I suggest listening to are by the National Academic Choir of Ukraine under the direction of Yevhen Savchuk (available on the Regis label); and my personal favourite version by the Swedish Radio Choir under Tonu Kaljuste (once available on Virgin Classics, but now to be found on HMV's budget label, AFAIK). Highly recommended!

    2) Finzi: Five Bagatelles (arr. for clarinet & strings) - Gerald Finzi is enjoying something of a renaissance here in England, after being somewhat neglected for a time. His Five Bagatelles - in the clarinet and strings arrangement, available only on budget label Naxos, AFAIK - is both joyful and romantic; and on the same CD, you'll find his Romance for String Orchestra, which is achingly gorgeous and deserves to be better known.

    3) Grieg: Piano Concerto - Grieg wasn't one for large-scale compositions, preferring to hone his skills in smaller works. His Piano Concerto is one of only a few major pieces he wrote, and its second movement - the adagio - is a work of utter romantic genius; unquestionably the heart of a larger work which is powerful, dramatic, beautiful and even exhausting (but in a good way!). My preferred recording here - and I've heard many versions, rejecting the experts' choice - is Cecile Ousset on piano with the London Symphony Orchestra under Sir Neville Marriner. Recorded in the early 80s and since remastered, some versions are better than others. Avoid the HMV version, and go for the recording on EMI's Red Line label. And listen in particular for the opening notes of the piano in the adagio, the way they enter seamlessly with the orchestra. Cecile's playing has been described as a bit too masculine, but I think this work benefits from her style; and I find her pacing of almost the whole work absolutely enchanting.

    4) Dvorak: Serenade For Strings - Quite simply a delightful work! The larghetto is the heart and soul of the piece, but is all too often played too quickly for my liking. The best recordings I've so far found are those available on the Naxos and Chandos labels. You'll want to hear this work again and again!

    5) Beethoven: Ninth Symphony 'Choral' - It's an old chestnut in classical terms, but still an amazing work. Consider that Beethoven was stone deaf when he wrote it, and it's even more astonishing! The famous fourth movement, with its choral finale, will have the hairs on every part of your body standing on end, and is guaranteed to restore your faith in the nobility and glory of the human spirit. If you haven't heard this work in its entirety before, now's the time. My choice? The HMV version, with the Philharmonia Orchestra and Chorus under Kurt Sanderling.



    Just a small selection from a storehouse of classical treasures. A hard choice to make indeed! Oh, and Garrett: Colin Matthews added a 'Pluto' movement to Holst's 'Planets', so now the work is complete! The Naxos SACD version is meant to be a very good listen.
     
  9. dynamic turtle

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    I'm far from an expert too and don't even know what constitutes a "complete movement" or "symphony". For simplicity's sake, i'll just interpret it as "long" pieces of classical music!! All the following are listened to in Stereo, NOT 5.1!

    1) Sheherazade. Extremely evocative. Literally paints a picture before your eyes. The Philips/Gergiev/Kiev SACD is breathtaking.

    2) Swan Lake. Tchaikovsky somehow managed to give the emotion we call "love" musical form in Swan Lake. (Silverline DVDA)

    3) The Strauss Waltzes. Not sure if they form a "movement", but taken together they evocatively portray feelings of care-free romantic indulgence. (Sony/Szell/Cleveland SACD)

    4) The Elgar Enigma variations. Another emotional roller-coaster. Nimrod is a rousing, patriotic classic! (Classic 200g Monteaux/LSO)

    5) Vivaldi's Four Seasons. (janine Jansen/Deutchse grammophone SACD)

    6) Grieg's Finlandia. Now that's what I call symphonic power. Put that in your pipe & smoke it, Shoshtakovich!! (RPO - 20bit SBM cd)

    DT
     
  10. Knightshade

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    Following on from this. What do you reckon are the best recordings of the above works?
     
  11. Mandel

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    I think you mean Jean Sibelius the Finn not Grieg the Norwegian :)

    As for my list...
    1) Berlioz: Requiem. Simply fantastic, sounds great on SACD with the 4 brass ensembles Berlioz placed at the 4 corners of the room. [Telarc 5.1 SACD]
    2) Bartok: Concerto for Orchestra. [Living Stereo 2.0 SACD]
    3) Dvorak: Symphony No 9 from the New World. [RCA Live 5.0 SACD]
    4) Vaughan-Williams: London Symphony (1913 version). [Chandos 5.0 SACD]
    5) Sibelius: Violin Concerto in D Minor. [Naxos 5.0 SACD]
    6) Rodrigo: Concierto de Arunjuez. [Mercury Living Presence 3.0 SACD]
    Quick list, really hard to pin it down to 5 (or 6)
     
  12. dynamic turtle

    dynamic turtle
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    Oh crikey, now that's a very, very hard question!! Probably one for the specialist classical music forums :confused:

    In order to answer that question correctly, you'd have to be familiar with all of the recordings of each piece, throughout history, BEFORE factoring in stuff like formats, availability, condition (with vinyl) etc.

    How many recordings of Swan Lake and Four Seasons have been made over the past 25 years? Must've been at least 20 EACH?

    Although I am very happy with the recording quality of my recordings of the above music, I'd be very hesitant to say if any of them were the de-facto reference. I'll edit my previous post to include what discs I was using.

    Regards,
    DT
     
  13. dynamic turtle

    dynamic turtle
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    DOH :suicide: :rotfl:

    You wouldn't believe how often I get the two confused.....
     
  14. FruitBat

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    Difficult to pin down to 5 (despite not being an expert), so I'll cheat a bit and not repeat what's been mentioned (specifically Scheherazade, The Four Seasons, Mendelssohn Violin Concerto)

    1. Bruch - Violin Concerto
    2. =
    Tschaikowsky - Violin Concerto
    Mozart - Eine Kleine Nacht Musik
    Prokofiev - Lieutenant Kije
    Beethoven - Symphony 6 (Pastoral)

    (hmm, no room for Peer Gynt or Pictures At An Exhibition).

    And 5 shorter works (don't always know if these are complete or part of something):
    Mussorksky - Night On Bare Mountain
    Ravel - Tzigane
    Mozart - Piano Sonata No. 11 third movement ("Alla Turca")
    Liszt - Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2
    Saint-Saens - Danse Macabre
     
  15. shadowritten

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    A quick guide to a few terms of the classical music world:

    Symphony - literally means "sounding together". Orchestral work of a serious nature and substantial in size, usually in four movements.

    Concerto - a work using and contrasting solo instrument(s) and orchestra - generally in three movements.

    Movement - part of a classical work; symphonies and concerti (the plural for concerto), are usually divided into several movements.

    Aria - a song for solo voice, usually found in an opera, oratorio or other large work.



    I'll add more as I think of them :smashin:
     
  16. slackbladder

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    5 complete classical works? Well, I do listen but to be honest I rarely pay attention as to what it is and who's it's by! And I must admit I'm fairly ignorant of the full works. Instead individual pieces tend to linger and remain with me.
    However I can think of a few that I do enjoy.
    Gorecki - Symphony of Sorrowful Songs. I have this on a recently released SACD. Sounds great in full 5.1. Suffice to say I tend to get a little bleary eyed by the end.
    Holst - The Planets. Like many I was first introduced to classical music via The Planets and inparticular "Mars". Stoked the fires of my imagination when I was 8.
    Rachmaninov - Piano Concerto 3. Because I'm an old romantic fart at heart. :D
    The others I'll have to think about as Im unsure if they're complete works or not.
     
  17. dynamic turtle

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    Listened to this last night actually and thoroughly enjoyed it. I have it on tired-sounding 30-year old vinyl (EMI/LSO/Previn), but the recording quality & orchestral passion still shine through. It also has Shostakovich's 6th which I found wonderfully engaging.

    This is one record I'm desperately keen to locate in mint condition!!

    DT
     
  18. Supersonic

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    I'd second The Planets, Four Seasons and Beet's 4th, 5th and 9th. Orff's Carmina Burana gets a spin fairly regularly as does Tchaik's 1812.

    I'm not a stereo snob and quite like some of the new multichannel discs. Beet's 4th & 5th on DVD-A (Barenboim) is great.
     

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