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Thread: Your "top 10" works for individual composers of the twentieth century

  1. #46
    Senior Member HarpsichordConcerto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by some guy View Post
    I'm not convinced that there's any piece (by any composer) that's going to be a good entree piece for everyone.

    Société II (Et Si Le Piano Était Un Corps De Femme) (1967)-- for a long time, this outrageous instrumental piece was only available on a DG LP. But it's out on CD, now.
    Indeed. So I started off experiencing the first piece that Youtube appeared to have, which was Société II. My humble opinion of it was it sounded like random noise of the worse kind, pure crap.


  2. #47
    Senior Member Meaghan's Avatar
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    Benjamin Britten:

    1. A Midsummer Night's Dream
    2. Peter Grimes
    3. War Requiem
    4. The Turn of the Screw
    5. Holy Sonnets of John Donne (but mostly because of "Death, be not proud*")
    6. Violin Concerto
    7. Death in Venice
    8. Sinfonia da Requiem
    9. Albert Herring
    10. Simple Symphony

    * http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=86dSerwbIMw

  3. #48
    Senior Member TresPicos's Avatar
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    Maurice Ravel

    1. Gaspard de la nuit (1908)
    2. Le Tombeau de Couperin (especially the orchestra version) (1919)
    3. Piano concertos ("left hand" and G) (1930, 1931)
    4. Jeux d'eau (1901)
    5. Valses nobles et sentimentales (1912)
    6. Piano trio (1914)
    7. Pavane pour une infante défunte (1899)
    8. Daphnis et Chloé suites (1911, 1912)
    9. Sonata for violin and cello (1922)
    10. Miroirs (1905)

    Just to get things started...


    Quote Originally Posted by emiellucifuge View Post
    Tres Picos - I am now at my house in the province of Cadiz, Andalucia, so Manuel has been on my playlist a lot. I only know the first three pieces on your list, are there any similar to de Tres Picos one - thats my favorite of the three?
    I'm not very good at such comparisons, but 7-10 are piano pieces and the harpsichord concerto is pretty strange. If there is anything similar the "Sombrero", then it might be some excerpt from La vida breve or possibly Homenajes, but I'm not sure if they are similar enough.
    DrKilroy likes this.

  4. #49
    Senior Member bassClef's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pierrot Lunaire View Post
    This one is for Morton Feldman. They are in chronological and, if you want, listening order. I feel like he's one of those composers where it's great to listen to how he grew as an artist throughout the years. I broke it down into his three distinct periods and gave each three works (four for the middle period because that is his most accessible and I wanted to include his opera).

    Early period:
    1. Projections 1-5, for violin, trumpet, 2 pianos, 3 flutes and 3 cellos (1950-51)
    2. Ixion, for 3 flutes, clarinet, horn, trumpet, trombone, piano, cello and double-bass (1958)
    3. The King of Denmark, for percussion (1964)

    Middle period:
    4. Rothko Chapel, for soprano, alto, choir, percussion, celesta and viola (1970)
    5. For Frank O'Hara, for flute, clarinet, percussion, piano, violin, and cello (1973)
    6. Piano and Orchestra (1975)
    7. Neither [Opera in One Act], for soprano and orchestra (1977)

    Late period:
    8. Triadic Memories, for solo piano (1981)
    9. For Philip Guston, for flute, percussion, and piano (1984)
    10. For Samuel Beckett, for 23 instruments (1987)
    I'm just reading about Feldman in Alex Ross's "The Rest Is Noise". Quite a remarkable fellow - I'm seeking out Rothko Chapel just because of the description in the book.

    EDIT: Is it correct that "For Philip Guston" is 5 hours long?? Only beaten by his String Quartet (II) at 6 hours.
    Last edited by bassClef; Jan-08-2011 at 22:43.

  5. #50
    Senior Member TresPicos's Avatar
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    Claude Debussy

    1. Children's Corner (1908)
    2. Nocturnes (1899)
    3. Préludes (1910, 1913)
    4. Images I, II, III (1905, 1907, 1912)
    5. Violin sonata (1917)
    6. Etudes (1915)
    7. La mer (1905)
    8. Syrinx (1913)
    9. Sonata for flute, viola and harp (1915)
    10. Some songs, like "3 chansons de Bilitis" (1898) or "3 Ballades de François Villon" (1910)

    For a more complete picture, some 19th century works could be included as well:

    11. Piano trio (1879)
    12. Suite bergamasque (1890)
    13. Fantaisie for piano and orchestra (1890)
    14. String quartet (1893)
    15. Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune (1894)

  6. #51
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    Variation on the theme: top ten modern composers who only composed one piece you really like"

    1/ Ferruccio Busoni, Berceuse Elegiaque
    2/ Paul Dukas, Prelude Elegiaque
    3/ Francis Poulenc, Sextet for piano and Wind Instruments
    4/ Kurtag, STELE
    5/ Bern Alois Zimmermann, Metamorphose
    6/ HK Gruber, Aerial
    7/ Kaija Saariaho, Orion
    8/ Wolfgang Rihm. Marsyas
    9/ Andre Jolivet, 2nd trumpet concerto
    10/ Harrison Birtwistle, Endless Parade

  7. #52
    Senior Member TresPicos's Avatar
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    Frank Bridge

    1. Three Improvisations for the left hand (1918)
    2. The Sea (1911)
    3. Piano trios (1907, 1929)
    4. Three Poems for piano (1915), Three Lyrics for piano (1924)
    5. Phantasy piano quartet (1910)
    6. Lament (1915)
    7. String sextet (1912)
    8. Cello sonata (1917)
    9. Divertimenti for wind quartet (1938)
    10. Piano sonata (1924)

    For the piano pieces, I recommend the Ashley Wass recordings (Naxos).

  8. #53
    Senior Member TresPicos's Avatar
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    William Alwyn

    1. Piano concertos (1930, 1960)
    2. Lyra Angelica, harp concerto (1954)
    3. String quartet 2, Spring Waters (1975)
    4. Symphonies 1-5 (1949, 53, 56, 59, 73)
    5. Sonata alla toccata (1947)
    6. Concerto for oboe, harp and strings (1945)
    7. Haze of noon (1925)
    8. Sinfonietta for strings (1970)
    9. Twelve preludes (1958)
    10. Elizabethan dances (1957)

  9. #54
    Junior Member Pierrot Lunaire's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bassClef View Post
    I'm just reading about Feldman in Alex Ross's "The Rest Is Noise". Quite a remarkable fellow - I'm seeking out Rothko Chapel just because of the description in the book.
    Rothko Chapel is a great place to start! It's probably his most popular piece and for good reason. If you are going to get a recording of it though, try to get the California EAR Unit version. All the others pale in comparison, in my opinion.


    Now, for Iannis Xenakis...

    1. Metastasis, for orchestra (1954)
    2. Kraanerg, ballet for orchestra and tape (1968)
    3. Eonta, for 2 trumpets, 3 trombones and piano (1964)
    4. Tetras, for string quartet (1983)
    5. Orient-Occident, for tape (1960)
    6. Mists, for solo piano (1981)
    7. Mikka, for solo violin (1971)
    8. Psappha, for solo percussion (1975)
    9. Jalons, for chamber ensemble (1987)
    10. Oresteïa, for chorus and 12 instruments (1966)

  10. #55
    Air
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    Quote Originally Posted by TresPicos View Post
    Claude Debussy

    1. Children's Corner (1908)
    2. Nocturnes (1899)
    3. Préludes (1910, 1913)
    4. Images I, II, III (1905, 1907, 1912)
    5. Violin sonata (1917)
    6. Etudes (1915)
    7. La mer (1905)
    8. Syrinx (1913)
    9. Sonata for flute, viola and harp (1915)
    10. Some songs, like "3 chansons de Bilitis" (1898) or "3 Ballades de François Villon" (1910)
    I'm shocked that Jeux and Pelléas et Mélisande didn't make the list.

    Quote Originally Posted by TresPicos View Post
    Maurice Ravel

    8. Daphnis et Chloé suites (1911, 1912)
    I'd say the entire Daphnis et Chloé is essential listening, especially the Dutoit and Boulez recordings. There's so much beauty in the work, why shorten the fun and condense it? I feel very much the same way about the Firebird suite, the Romeo and Juliet suites - well, practically every suite actually...

    I'm a bit split on which Le Tombeau de Couperin I prefer. It saddens me that Ravel chose never to orchestrate the Toccata, which I will admit, is one of my favorite parts in the original piano suite. It's quite virtuosic, and stunning in the pianistic sense - and orchestrating it properly would be a tough task indeed, even for Ravel. Yet I came across this the other day, and I have to say that Kocsis quite does it justice:




    In many ways, I still prefer the piano version though.
    Last edited by Air; Jan-08-2011 at 20:32.
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    Moderator Huilunsoittaja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bassClef View Post
    An alternative view (admittedly piano sonatas are not my cup of tea):

    1. Love for the 3 Oranges
    2. Scythian Suite
    3. Romeo & Juliet
    4. Alexander Nevsky
    5. Tale of the Stone Flower
    6. Cinderella
    7. Lt. Kije
    8. Cantata for the 20th Annversary of the October Revolution
    9. Symphony No.1, 3, 5 or 7
    10. Seven, they are Seven
    Woah! Really? That's a pretty crazy work.

    And I would have done what you did for no. 9, because I love so many symphonies. Same goes for piano sonatas, personally.

    I'm glad you like Cinderella too
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  12. #57
    Senior Member bassClef's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Huilunsoittaja View Post
    Woah! Really? That's a pretty crazy work.
    Yep, crazy but wonderful It was pretty hard to find though - out of print now.

  13. #58
    Senior Member TresPicos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Air View Post
    I'm shocked that Jeux and Pelléas et Mélisande didn't make the list.
    Perhaps they should have. It was difficult to fulfill all of the list criteria and also get all the important works in there.

    "...works which you would recommend others to listen to as a starting point"
    "...works you choose to put on the list engage or inspire you in some way"
    "Try to choose a number of different works from various genres"
    "& from across his/her compositional career"

    I hope there will be alternative Debussy and Ravel lists. My ambition was not to present the ultimate ones.


    I'd say the entire Daphnis et Chloé is essential listening, especially the Dutoit and Boulez recordings. There's so much beauty in the work, why shorten the fun and condense it? I feel very much the same way about the Firebird suite, the Romeo and Juliet suites - well, practically every suite actually...
    I'm not a Daphnis et Chloé fan myself, but I guess it would have been another shocker not to include them.

    I'm a bit split on which Le Tombeau de Couperin I prefer. It saddens me that Ravel chose never to orchestrate the Toccata, which I will admit, is one of my favorite parts in the original piano suite. It's quite virtuosic, and stunning in the pianistic sense - and orchestrating it properly would be a tough task indeed, even for Ravel. Yet I came across this the other day, and I have to say that Kocsis quite does it justice:



    In many ways, I still prefer the piano version though.
    Wow, nice to hear that one orchestrated!

    Choosing between versions could be tricky for the Pavane and Valses as well.

  14. #59
    Junior Member Pierrot Lunaire's Avatar
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    Henri Dutilleux. An all too neglected composer.

    1. L'arbre des songes, for violin and orchestra (1985)
    2. Timbres, espace, mouvement ou la nuit etoilée, for orchestra (1978)
    3. Ainsi la nuit, for string quartet (1976)
    4. Symphonie No. 2 "Le double", for orchestra (1959)
    5. Trois Préludes, for solo piano (1988)
    6. The Shadows of Time, for 3 children voices and orchestra (1997)
    7. Les citations, for oboe, double bass, harpsichord and percussion (1985)
    8. Trois strophes sur le nom de Sacher, for solo cello (1976)
    9. Tout un monde lointain, for cello and orchestra (1970)
    10. Métaboles, for orchestra (1964)

  15. #60
    Senior Member TresPicos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pierrot Lunaire View Post
    Henri Dutilleux. An all too neglected composer.

    1. L'arbre des songes, for violin and orchestra (1985)
    2. Timbres, espace, mouvement ou la nuit etoilée, for orchestra (1978)
    3. Ainsi la nuit, for string quartet (1976)
    4. Symphonie No. 2 "Le double", for orchestra (1959)
    5. Trois Préludes, for solo piano (1988)
    6. The Shadows of Time, for 3 children voices and orchestra (1997)
    7. Les citations, for oboe, double bass, harpsichord and percussion (1985)
    8. Trois strophes sur le nom de Sacher, for solo cello (1976)
    9. Tout un monde lointain, for cello and orchestra (1970)
    10. Métaboles, for orchestra (1964)
    Too neglected, indeed.

    I would have included Mystère de l'instant and the piano sonata, but that's just because they are my favorite works.

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