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The Classical Music Thread

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I understand that there are a couple of threads for music in general, but I would like a medium for discussion of classical music. So, does anybody listen to it? Who are your favorite composers? Do you happen to play an instrument?


I could name pieces for hours, but Gustav Mahler is my favorite composer of all time. His symphonies are so powerful, it's ridiculous. I would give anything to hear 2 or 8 performed live.


Symphony No. 2 Finale (conducted by Rattle)



Symphony No. 8 Finale (conducted by Bernstein)


I highly recommend watching the Symphony No. 8 video. Bernstein is absolutely lost in the music. The brass is blowing their absolute brains out, and the trumpets are getting as high as anything.

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I love classical music.


I've been playing piano since I was 6, guitar since I was 7, and percussion since I was eight.

I joined concert band at my middle school in 6th grade and played trombone. The next year, I switched to tuba and picked up other instruments along the way (Trumpet, Euphonium, Horn, etc...).


I'm in my high school's advanced symphonic band (We don't have an orchestra, sadly...), and play tuba. I also play piano in jazz band, sousaphone in marching band, and participate in regional competitions and all state band.


In advanced band this year, we got to play Carmina Burana (One of my favorite works), Short Ride in a Fast Machine, Hounds of Spring, Ave Maria, and Elsa's Procession.

Last year we played Festive Overture, Blue Bells of Scotland, Second Suite in F, Rhapsody in Blue, etc...


We play a lot of Sousa too...but every band does. It's almost a requirement.


My favorite composers include Dvorak, Alfred Reed, John Williams, Shostakovitch, Richard Wagner, Puccini, Bach, George Gershwin, Gordon Goodwin (Jazz), Stephen Sondheim (Musicals), Henry Mancini, Arthur Foote, Charles-Camille Saint-Saëns, Leroy Anderson, the list goes on and on...


Rattle and Bernstein are two of my favorite conductors!

They interpret the works wonderfully.


Right now, I'm obsessed with the New World Symphony, particularly the beautiful 2nd movement, at least, when played by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.


I'm also obsessed with the operas Lonhengrin by Richard Wagner, La Boheme by Puccini, and the Pirates of Penzance by G&S.


I love classical music!

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  • 3 weeks later...

My favorite piece of all time is Ralph Vaughn Williams's Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis. I guess I'm sort of a strings purist. The sounds that come out of that piece are incredible, at times it sounds like an organ, and in very brief instances it sounds like a human chorus. All of it is done with only strings.


My other favorites would be Dvorak's New World Symphony, Barber's Adagio for Strings, Die Moldau by Smetana, and Die Hebriden by Mendelssohn.

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My favourite music is anything that tells a story; it could be an orchestral score to an actual film, or be a classical score which paints well-enough of a mental picture to distinguish it from all else. (As 'hippie' as that sounds.)


For example, my favourite "true" classical piece would definitely be Holst's Jupiter, The Bringer of Jolity from the Planets suite:



And recently I've taken a liking to Saint-Saëns' Dance Macabre, even though I usually like more upbeat and positive moods in my selection:



Dan "Thread, I think this is the start of a beautiful friendship." Smith

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^^ I love Holst's Jupiter. Great piece of music.


One of my favorites is Symphony No. 10 by Shostakovich.. it's so intense and never lets up!



Another great one is The Unanswered Question by Charles Ives, gah.. it haunts me. The trumpet "asks" the question - the meaning of existence, while the woodwinds don't provide a clear answer, they somewhat mock the question by the end of the piece. It's such a simple pice, but a great concept and it just really creeps me out, haha.



Other favorites of mine are Second/First Suite by Gustav Holst. Two of my favorites to play in band, and the music is just really incredible, from how it's written and just how musical each piece is.

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My school orchestra played Shost 10. I absolutely loved it. As for Barber's Adagio for Strings, it is massively overrated, in my opinion. Another overrated piece is Ravel's Bolero. Even Ravel can't stand it, and he was the composer.


One of Ravel's best compositions was his arrangement of Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition. This is the first of four parts (I'm sure you can find the rest):



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My favorite piece of all time is Ralph Vaughn Williams's Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis.


I agree completely. One of my favorites. I also LOVE Williams'



I could name pieces for hours, but Gustav Mahler is my favorite composer of all time. His symphonies are so powerful, it's ridiculous. I would give anything to hear 2 or 8 performed live.


I'm partial to his 7th Symphony myself. Particularly the first and last movements.


Some other all-time favorites of mine include:


Dvorak - Symphony No. 8 (My favorite starts at about 3:11 of the fourth movement)



Saint-Saens - Symphony No. 3, "Presto"





Ottorino Respighi - Church Windows (mvmt II is playing in the video)


Rimsky-Korsakov - Scheherazade



(especially around the 6:30 mark)


When I get married, I'm walking down the aisle to this:

(aka "Fire of Eternal Glory")


And my absolute favorite piece of all time is



(I can only find some college ensemble, but whatever. It's good enough)

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  • 8 months later...

Decided to revive this thread!


Anyways, I'm playing in my school district's Honors Band, and we had our first rehearsal for this year yesterday. We received a piece called "Strange Humors" by John Mackey and I can't stop listening to it or stop playing it. It's such a fun song to play and really just overall an amazing composition. It's so perfect in the way it utilizes the different ways that instruments can make unusual sounds. I'm pretty obsessed with this song at the moment, haha.


There's an english horn solo in the beginning of the song, and it continues with the melody to about 2:02. Since we have no english horn in our band, I'm playing the solo and it's incredible to play. The melody is so haunting and sultry. I love it.



Anyone else in band playing interesting music?

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I LOVE almost every piece listed in this thread thus far. Great minds have such great taste.


I'll add a few to the ever-growing list.


Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No. 1 and 2, Violin Concerto 2nd Movement, The Year of 1812, Swan Lake Waltz, Waltz of the Flowers, Waltz from Eugene Onegin, Sleeping Beauty Waltz (I love waltzes), and one of his more 'silly' pieces from An Album for Children Op. 39 No.3, Hobby Horse.


Tchaikovsky was an absolute genius! He is my favorite composer!


If it wasn't obvious...

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Alright... It's a great list so far. Here's some of my favorites you guys probably don't know.


Barber -

Overture to the School for Scandal


Ravel -

Pavane Pour Une Infante Défunte

String Quartet in F Major


Debussy -

Prélude À l'après-midi D'un Faune

La Mer


Brahms -

Klavierstücke, Op 118: II. Intermezzo


More Contemporary Composers


Hindemith -

Symphonic Metamorphosis on Themes of Carl Maria von Weber

(especially movement 3, though all are great)


John Adams -

Harmonium: Negative Love

(coolest buildup ever)


Philip Glass -

String Quartet No 2 (Company


For people who enjoy band music...


Percy Grainger -

Licolnshire Posy

The Gum-Suckers March


John Mackey -

Concerto for Soprano Sax and Wind Ensemble



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  • 1 year later...

Resurrection (non-intended reference)!


I recently taken a great liking to composers that, in the past, I had little care for-Namely, Bartok and Shostakovitch. There's always the old favorites from them (e.g. Concerto for Orchestra & Novorossysk Chimes) but I've really started looking past those to hear more and more of their music. I've also started delving into Dvorak's extensive pile of chamber music which I had previously only heard a very few works (American Quartet included).


Gustav Mahler remains my favorite composer of large-scale symphonies. The 2nd, 5th, 7th (whoever said the outer movements is alright in my book), and the ever popular but seldom performed 8th. I don't really listen to his work that often, due to the duration mostly, but they still hold a special place in me.


Am I the only one who thinks Ralph Vaughan William's A Sea Symphony is one of his better works? Right up there among his 'top hits'? I especially like the opening statement, regardless of it's simplicity-just a B-flat minor fanfare with a response by the choir (and orchestra) that starts in B-flat minor and switches up to D major (if I remember correctly) with a huge sound and out of that chaotic mess comes the next theme played by the strings.


Who here likes hemiolas in a climatic moment? Such as in the 4th movement of Dvorak's 9th toward the beginning. I do. I think they're one of the most powerful rhythms you can use.


And here's some of my favorite works, so let's compare! (I'm still editing them to get more of them in that I my have missed)


An incomplete list of some of my favorite symphonies include (in no particular order):

Beethoven: 3rd, 6th, 9th

Brahms: 3rd

Debussy: La Mer (I know the subtitle says 3 symphonic sketches! But it's closer to a symphony than anything else)

Dvorak: 9th in particular, among others

Mahler: 2nd, 5th, 7th, 8th

Schubert: Unfinished is my favorite of his, but the others are very enjoyable.

Shostakovitch: 10th is very powerful, among others of course

Tchaikovsky: 4th, 5th, 6th

Vaughan Williams: A Sea Symphony, Sinfonia antartica, & the usual complement


Incomplete list of favorite symphonic poems:

Borodin: In the Steppes of Central Asia

Debussy: Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune

Dukas: The Sorcerer's Apprentice

Liszt: Les Preludes (and most of the other 12)

Moussorgsky: Night of Bald Mountain

Saint-Saens: Danse Macabre

Scriabin: Prometheus: The Poem of Fire

Rachmaninoff: The Rock


Incomplete list of favorite concertos (loosely used):

Bach: Double Concerto for Violin

Beethoven: Emperor (piano), Violin Concerto in D, Violin Romance No.2

Chopin: Piano Concertos No. 1&2

Dvorak: Cello Concerto

Elgar: Cello Concerto, Violin Concerto

Haydn: Trumpet Concerto

Lalo: Symphonie espagnole (almost a concerto...)

Liszt: Piano Concertos No. 1&2

Paganini: 1st & 2nd Violin Concertos..

Rachmaninoff: Piano Concertos No. 2&3

Saint-Saens: Havanaise (violin), Cello Concerto No. 1

Sarasate: Carmen Fantasy (violin)

Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No. 1, Violin Concerto in D, Variations on a Rococo Theme (cello)


Incomplete list of favorite works for solo instruments:

Beethoven: Pathetique, Moonlight, Appassionata, & Les Adieux (piano sonatas)

Chopin: the etudes, grande valse brilliante (the E-flat), Valse du petit chien, Fantasie-Impromptu, Nocturnes

Liszt: the opera-fantasies (Don Juan in particular), Hungarian Rhapsodies, Grande Galop Chromatique,


Actually...there's far too many in this category to even think about naming a third of them.


Incomplete list of favorite operas (all types):

Berlioz: Carmen

Mozart: Magic Flute, Don Giovanni, The Marriage of Figaro

Puccini: La Boheme, Tosca, Madame Butterfly

Rossini: Barber of Seville, William Tell

Saint-Saens: Samson et Delilah

R. Struass: Salome, Elektra

Strauss II: Die Fledermaus

Sullivan: Pirates, Pinafore, Mikado, Yeomen

Tchaikovsky: Eugene Onegin, Iolanta, Queen of Spades

Wagner: The Ring Cycle, Flying Dutchman, Parsifal, Tristan und Isolde, others...


Incomplete list of favorite suites:

Debussy: Suite Bergamesque, Children's Corner, Images pour orchestre

Borodin: Polovtsian Dances

Grieg: Peer Gynt

Grofe-Grand Canyon Suite

Holst: The Planets

Moussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition (Ravel Orch.)

Rachmaninoff: Symphonic Dances


Sibelius-The Tempest


(under construction still)

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