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

  1. #91
    Senior Member StlukesguildOhio's Avatar
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    Thanks to Andre's example, I immediately thought, yes, Vaughan-Williams... and Delius!

    Vaughan-Williams:

    1. Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis
    2. Fantasia on Greensleeves
    3. The Lark Ascending
    4. Symphony no. 3 (A Pastoral Symphony)
    5. Symphony no. 5
    6. Symphony no. 1 (A Sea Symphony)
    7. Symphony no. 2 ( A London Symphony)
    8. Dona Nobis Pacem
    9. Sancta Civitas
    10. Hodie: A Christmas Cantata


    Frederick Delius:

    1. A Village Romeo and Juliet
    2. Sea Drift
    3. Songs of Farewell
    4. Requiem
    5. On First Hearing the Cuckoo in Spring
    6. In a Summer Garden
    7. Summer Night on the River
    8. Florida Suite
    9. Brigg Fair
    10. A Song Before Sunrise

  2. #92
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    I'll do another one on Prokofiev:

    1. Symphony No. 1 "Classical" (1917) - These two symphonies are really at opposite ends of the spectrum & are a great way to begin exploring his symphonic output.

    2. Symphony No. 5 (1944)

    3. Piano Concertos Nos. 1-5 (1911-32) - I think that all are worth exploring, which is feasable since they can be acquired in a 2 disc set at a small price.

    4. Violin Concerto No. 1 (1916-17) - an etherial work with it's head in the clouds which I think is unique in his output.

    5. Peter and the Wolf, for narrator & orchestra (1936) - A delightful work that brings the child out of us adults.

    6. Alexander Nevsky, cantata for mezzo-soprano, chorus & orchestra (1939)

    7. Piano Sonatas 6-8, the "War Sonatas" (1939-44) - Some of the most technically demanding works & some very intense listening.

    8. Visions Fugitives, piano solo (1915-18) - another early work in another bizarre world.

    9. Romeo & Juliet, ballet (1936) - One of the finest ballets of the c20th.

    10. The Love for Three Oranges, opera (1919) - I have only heard the suite, but judging from it's whimsicality, this must be a great opera.

    "Extras"

    11. Scythian Suite (Ala & Lolly) (1914-15) - Prokofiev's "take" on The Rite of Spring - Glazunov walked out at the premiere performance.

    12. Symphony No. 3 (1928) - Perhaps not as cohesive as the 5th, but it has some great moments and offers the usual kaliedescope of colours and moods.

    13. Suggestion Diabolique Op. 4 No. 4, solo piano (date?)- Another virtuoso showpiece.

    14. String Quartets 1 (1930) & 2 (1941) - The 1st has to be one of the most significant of it's time, while the 2nd is a lot of fun, but not half as much groundbreaking.

    15. Symphony -Concerto for cello and orchestra (1950-2) - Quite a difficult piece to grasp for me, even in the hands of the great Rostropovich, but it's great as long as you just let yourself go a bit.

  3. #93
    Moderator Huilunsoittaja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andre View Post

    11. Scythian Suite (Ala & Lolly) (1914-15) - Prokofiev's "take" on The Rite of Spring - Glazunov walked out at the premiere performance.
    Indeed! I heard it on youtube, that ending is so loud! That's really why he walked out, it was just too loud.
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  5. #94
    Junior Member Pierrot Lunaire's Avatar
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    George Crumb:

    1. Black Angels, for electric string quartet (1970)
    2. Makrokosmos I-IV, for amplified pianos and percussion (1972-1979)
    3. Vox Balaenae, for electric flute, electric cello and amplified piano (1971)
    4. Star-Child, for soprano, children's voices, male choir, bell ringers and orchestra (1977)
    5. Eleven Echoes of Autumn, 1965, for violin, alto flute, clarinet and piano (1966)
    6. Quest, for guitar, soprano saxophone, harp, double bass and percussion (1994)
    7. Echoes of Time and the River, for orchestra (1967)
    8. An Idyll for the Misbegotten, for amplified flute and percussion (1986)
    9. Dream Sequence, for violin, cello, piano, percussion and off-stage glass harmonica (1976)
    10. A Little Suite for Christmas, A.D. 1979, for solo piano (1980)

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    I think I'll go with the Argentinian composer Alberto Ginastera. Haven't heard everything, but what I have heard I like a lot.
    A sampling:
    1: Suite de Danzas Criollas (Piano)
    2: Argentine Dances (Piano)
    3: Sonata #1 (Piano)
    4: Malambo (Piano)
    5: Piano Concerto #1
    6: Harp Concerto
    7: Estancia (ballet)
    8: Panambi (ballet)
    9: Tres Piezas (piano)
    10: Cantata Para America Magica (Soprano/53 percussion instruments)

    Tom

  7. #96
    Senior Member StlukesguildOhio's Avatar
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    Toru Takemitsu-


    1. A Flock Descends into the Pentagonal Garden
    2. In an Autumn Garden
    3. Quatrain
    4. Autumn
    5. Stanza I and II
    6. Toward the Sea
    7. And then I Knew 'twas Wind
    8. Eclipse
    9. Air
    10. Voice

    Takemitsu is easily one of my favorite modern composers. I probably have more CDs by him than any other post-WWII classical composer... with the possible exception of Arvo Part. His music is a synthesis of Eastern and Western musical traditions. His music conveys elements of Impressionism... especially Debussy as well as later composers such as Messiaen... merged with a meditative and "minimalist" Japanese aesthetic. Like Debussy and Ravel, his music is constructed from a sensitive and sometimes surprising array of instrumentation painting the most subtle sound "colors." One reviewer wrote that he was simply dazzled by the fact that Takemitsu could employ so much dissonance... and yet the result was still so unabashedly beautiful.











    Takemitsu offers not only a link between East and West but also a bridge from Debussy through Messiaen and on through the contemporary Tristan Murail.
    Last edited by StlukesguildOhio; Jan-14-2011 at 05:34.

  8. #97
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    I also like Takemitsu's Three Film Scores for string orchestra (a clip of the waltz below on youtube from the Naxos disc I have). It just shows that he was very versatile at composing more European sounding music as well...



    I want to get some of his chamber & solo piano music as I only have that Naxos disc of his orchestral works. Interesting how there's such a unity there, from the earliest work Solitude Sonore from the 1950's right up to the works composed before his death in the '90's. Stravinsky apparently thought much of Takemitsu's music & saw the younger man's promise at the beginning...

  9. #98
    Senior Member MrTortoise's Avatar
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    Andre: I have that same disc with "A flock descending..." and enjoyed it this weekend. I had forgotten what a master of orchestral color Takemitsu is. I found a lot of pleasure simply listening to the sounds of his works without worrying about thematic development or technique. I'm going to search out more of his music.

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    My Prokofiev list:

    1. Symphony No. 5
    2. Piano Concerto No. 3
    3. Romeo and Juliet
    4. Symphony No. 1
    5. Piano Concerto No. 2
    6. Violin Concerto D
    7. Symphony No. 6
    8. Sinfonia Concertante
    9. Cinderella
    10. Piano Sonata 7

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  12. #100
    Senior Member emiellucifuge's Avatar
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    Stravinsky:

    1. The Rite of Spring
    2. Petrouchka
    3. The Firebird
    4. Symphony in C
    5. Violin Concerto 2
    6. Agon
    7. Symphony in 3 movments
    8. Symphony of Psalms
    9. Dumbarton Oaks
    10. Octet

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  14. #101
    Senior Member DrMike's Avatar
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    I'll throw in Rachmaninov:

    Piano Concerto No. 2
    Piano Concerto No. 3
    Symphony No. 2
    Elegiac Piano Trio No. 2
    Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini
    Isle of the Dead
    Preludes Op. 23
    Preludes Op. 32
    Etudes-Tableaux Op. 39
    Morceaux de Fantaisie Op. 3

    I really love the 2nd piano concerto, but his solo piano works are not to be missed. I haven't explored them as much as I'd like, but enjoy all that I have heard.

    And, since nobody has mentioned him, I'm including Arvo Part:

    Alina
    Spiegel im Spiegel
    Tabula Rasa
    Passio
    Berliner Messe
    Miserere
    Kanon Pokajanen
    Te Deum
    Symphony No. 4 "Los Angeles" - haven't heard yet, but would like to.
    Cello Concerto (Pro et contra) - from his earlier period, doesn't fit in all that well here with these others - maybe closest to Tabula Rasa - but interesting to see where he started

  15. #102
    Senior Member TresPicos's Avatar
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    Francis Poulenc

    1. Concerto for 2 pianos (1932)
    2. Stabat mater (1950)
    3. Flute sonata (1956)
    4. Quatre motets per le temps de NoŽl (1952)
    5. Piano concerto (1949)
    6. Trio for oboe, bassoon and piano (1926)
    7. Sonata for piano 4 hands (1918)
    8. Gloria (1959)
    9. Intermezzi for piano (1934-43)
    10. Sinfonietta (1947)

  16. #103
    Moderator Huilunsoittaja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TresPicos View Post
    Francis Poulenc

    1. Concerto for 2 pianos (1932)
    2. Stabat mater (1950)
    3. Flute sonata (1956)
    4. Quatre motets per le temps de NoŽl (1952)
    5. Piano concerto (1949)
    6. Trio for oboe, bassoon and piano (1926)
    7. Sonata for piano 4 hands (1918)
    8. Gloria (1959)
    9. Intermezzi for piano (1934-43)
    10. Sinfonietta (1947)
    I want to play that sooo much! I love Gloria too.
    "Before I became the director [of the St. Petersburg Conservatory] I knew the treble clef and the bass clef, now I know the wrench too." - Glazunov
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  17. #104
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    Highly recommended by Takemitsu, Fantasma/Cantos, with Sabine Meyer and Claudio Abbado, and by Poulenc, the Sextet for piano and wind instruments, with Jacques Fevrier at the piano (EMI).

    Another nice piece by Poulenc is his sonata for clarinet and piano, which would fit well on a cd with Brahms' clarinet sonatas, I should think, because of a common melancholy.

    Luciano Berio. His closest affinity among his contemporaries would appear to be Boulez. There is some parallelisms between their careers, both of them getting noticed for their (brief) stints as Darmstadt-style serialists (Berio, rather less disciplined than the others) - and both evolving toward the smoother, time-oriented, renewed modernism of the 1980's and beyond.

    In between, however, Berio does something unique, his Sinfonia of 1968, unique because of his uncanny ability to compose original music, while making such heavy use of the music of others (especially the Scherzo from Gustav Mahler's 2nd Symphony).

    1/ Kol Od, Chemins VI for trumpet and Orchestra (1999)
    2/ Formazioni (1987)
    3/ Sinfonia (1968)
    4/ Chemins IV for oboe or saxophone (1975)
    5/ Ekphrasis (1999)
    6/ Solo for trombone & orchestra (2000)
    7/ Requies (1984)
    8/ Sincronie for string quartet (1964)
    9/ Serenata for flute and fouteen instruments (1957)
    10/ Points on the Curve to Find, for Piano and 22 instrumentlists (1974)

  18. #105
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    Thanks for introducing Berio, toucan (& your other insightful contributions here). I've only heard one short piece for him for double bass solo, which I have on a compilation cd. I have also read about his "orchestration" of Schubert's unfinished 10th symphony, which (from what I understand) is a loose knitting together of the remaining fragments. Reading about it, it sounds to me to be a work which challenges the whole notion of "finishing" a great composer's unfinished work...

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