I'm interested in what people would recommend others to listen to (particularly newcomers) of music of the twentieth century by each composer.
Think of your favourite composers of the twentieth century, whose music you are generally well acquainted with. Make up a list of 10 works which you would recommend others to listen to as a starting point.
Your list doesn't have to have anything to do with the works being the most popular by the composer. As long as even obscure works you choose to put on the list engage or inspire you in some way, and you think that they would do likewise for others, that's fine. Sometimes, lesser-known works can give us a more well-rounded understanding of a particular composer.
Try to choose a number of different works from various genres - if the composer wrote in them (eg. orchestral, chamber, solo instrumental, song, stage works, etc.) & from across his/her compositional career. Your list can also have works on it that you may have only heard bits of, or mainly read about, but want to explore more yourself down the track.
You can include some works as a whole unit if it is warranted in some way. For example, Prokofiev's piano sonatas numbers 6 to 8 are collectively known as his "war sonatas" and are quite inseperable (so I'd say that for the purposes of this list, they consist as one inseperable work). Puccini's opera trilogy Il Trittico is in the same category. But basically, if you think that a number of works should be listened to together, then you can include them as one work.
I'll start with a perennial favourite, Bela Bartok. These works range in date from 1911 to 1945 & all genres are basically covered. I think that listening to these is a good starting point to get to know Bartok's music:
1. Concerto for Orchestra (1943)
2. Music for Strings, Percussion & Celesta (1936)/Divertimento for Strings (1939)(both written for Paul Sacher of Switzerland)
3. Violin Concerto No. 2 (1937-8)
4. Piano Concertos 1-3 (1926-45)
5. String Quartets 1-6 (1908-39)
6. Mikrokosmos, solo piano (1926/1932-9)
7. Piano Sonata (1926)
8. Cantata Profana (1930) (haven't heard this but will soon, but Bartok thought it to be his finest work)
9. The Miraculous Mandarin, ballet suite (1918)
10. Bluebeard's Castle, opera (1911)