Hello Talk Classical!
I just joined a few minutes ago and am very happy to! I've been looking around for someplace besides the orchestra I play in where I can talk about classical music without getting teased or totally ignored. I also tried registering at Gramophone but everybody there immediately decided they hated me for some reason...
For my first thread, I decided to post this list I made a while back: the All-time Symphony Orchestra, consisting of the best players from the late-19th century to the present day (for some reason, this is what made everybody at Gramophone get so ticked off). You will notice that the string section largely consists of the best soloists rather than the best orchestral players, with the exception of the double bass section. This is because I couldn't seem to find any orchestral players, since everybody on the Internet was talking Perlman, Tartini, Kreisler, etc. But in the winds, I did in fact select orchestral musicians.
Too bad we could never see this group play together, because a lot of the musicians are dead, dying or just really aging. Besides, the amount of ego would stretch to Pluto and back 50 times. Maybe someone could make a computer simulation of a group like this, but even that wouldn't do justice to how they would really sound.
Here is the All-Time Symphony Orchestra! Enjoy, and please don't hesitate to make suggestions, I'm always trying to improve it!
Violin 1: Itzhack Perlman, concertmaster, Jascha Heifetz, associate concertmaster, Giueseppe Tartini, Fritz Kreisler, David Oistrakh, Mischa Elman, Yehudi Menuhin, Tomo Milicevic, Pablo de Sarasate
Violin 2: Philippe Quint, Jacques Thibaud, Isaac Stern, Joshua Bell, Hilary Hahn, Arthur Grimaux, Zino Francescatti, Robert McDuffie, Ida Haendel, Georges Enesco
Viola: Yuri Bashmet, Nobuko Imai, Lionel Tertis, William Primrose, Lawrence Power
Cello: Yo-Yo Ma, Pablo Casals, Jacqueline du Pre, Gregor Piatagorsky, Emanuel Fuerman, Pierre Fournier, Mstislav Rostropovich
Double Bass: Gerald Drucker, Eugene Levinson, Oscar Zimmerman, Ludwig Streicher
Flute: Geoffrey Gilbert, Jeffrey Kahner, Michel DeBost, Marcel Moyse
Oboe: John Mack, Alex Klein
Clarinet: Larry Combs, Karl Leister
Bassoon: Bernard Garfield, William Waterhouse, Judith LeClair, Sol Schoenbach
Horn: John Cerminaro, Dale Clevenger, Philip Myers, Dennis Brain
Trumpet: Adolph Herseth, William Vacchiano, Phillip Collins
Trombone: Jay Friedman, Denis Wick, Ian Bousfield, Joseph Alessi
Bass Trombone: Dave Stewart
Tuba: Gene Pokorny, John Fletcher
Timpani: Edward Harrison
Percussion: Howard van Hyning, James Blades, Antonio Buonomo
Now the conductor is another issue. It's extremely hard to say one great conductor is better than another. Nevertheless, here's a few suggestions. Again, don't hesitate to make suggestions yourself: Igor Markevitch, Leonard Bernstein, Andre Previn, Zubin Mehta, Leopold Stokowski, Claudio Abbado, Fritz Reiner, Herbert von Karajan, Sir George Solti
Hope you've enjoyed!