My Interest in Classical Music.
Ever since I was a youngster (over 40 years ago) I have had an interest in Classical Music, of course it started with the well-known pieces, like Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture, Beethoven's Symphony No 5, and Holst's The Planets Suite. At the time I didn't appreciate the music other than they piqued my curiosity and they were lively pieces to listen to. Over the years I never really strayed from classical music, yes I occasionally dabbled pop music and jazz, however I always came back to the music I really loved.
As I grew mature I developed my classical music tastes and started finding more pieces that I started to like; Saint-Saens Carnival of the Animals, Vivaldi's The Four Seasons, Pachelbel’s Canon, Albinoni's Adagio, Johann Strauss' The Blue Danube, and Beethoven's Symphony No 6 'Pastorale.' Most of this was via vinyl or cassettes, and then one day I heard an orchestra live and then I wanted more of it, however it was very expensive to see a live concert so I had to stick to vinyl and cassettes.
Then CDs came onto the market and I now updated my collection and started broadening my horizons and discovered Vaughn Williams Lark Ascending, among the many more becoming available. I then discovered Chopin, Schubert, Delius, Rachmaninov and Grieg, especially his Piano Concerto.
Then opera started to influence me and although I listened to them mainly on the radio or CDs, I wanted more and then I bought to watch an opera; my first live opera was Richard Strauss' Der Rosenkavalier. Since then I have watched, Benjamin Britten's Peter Grimes; Puccini's Madam Butterfly; Puccini's Tosca; Berlioz's The Damnation of Faust; Benjamin's A Midsummer Night's Dream; and my next one is Wagner's The Flying Dutchman. I have also seen a couple of ballets as well; Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker, and an Eifman's ballet Anna Karenina.
I have found that classical music is very soothing, especially after a hard day at work.
Reading reviews of Classical Music is not always helpful, it is only listening to it that you get to know whether it is a good piece or not.
Recently I tried to put together a list of my top fifty; however as I wrote it down I realised it is not as easy as it sounds, there is a possibility that I would miss some; however here is my top fifty:
50. The Ring-Wagner. (Actually I have never heard this complete, however I would love to one day.)
49. Der Rosenkavalier-Richard Strauss.
47. The Trout Quintet-Schubert.
46. Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini-Rachmaninov.
45. Water Music-Handel.
42. Swan Lake (ballet)-Tchaikovsky.
41. Violin Concerto No. 4-Mozart.
40. Violin Concerto-Beethoven.
39. Emperor Waltz-Johann Strauss.
38. Symphony in C-Dukas.
37. Peer Gynt Suites 1&2-Grieg.
36. Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis-Vaughan Williams.
35. Double Concerto in A minor-Brahms.
34. Romeo and Juliet-Tchaikovsky.
33. Sea Drift-Delius.
32. In a Summer Garden-Delius.
31. The Walk in Paradise Garden-Delius.
30. The Damnation of Faust-Berlioz.
28. Madam Butterfly-Puccini.
27. Variations on an Original Theme 'Enigma'-Elgar.
26. 'Moonlight' Piano Sonato-Beethoven.
25. Canon and Gigue-Pachelbel.
24. 'Air on a G string-Bach.
23. Peter Grimes-Britten.
21. The Flying Dutchman-Wagner.
20. Violin Concerto in D-Brahms.
19. Symphony No. 5-Schubert.
18. A Midsummer Night's Dream-Britten.
17. Symphony No. 6-Dvorak.
16. Danse Macabre-Saint-Saens.
15. Fantasia on Greensleeves-Vaughan Williams.
14. Piano Sonato-Dukas.
12. The Nutcracker (ballet)-Tchaikovsky.
11. Symphony No. 2 in E minor-Rachmaninov.
10. Piano Concerto in A minor-Grieg.
9. The Four Seasons-Vivaldi.
8. The Sorcerer's Apprentice-Dukas.
7. Symphony No. 5-Beethoven.
6. The Blue Danube-Johann Strauss.
5. 1812 overture-Tchaikovsky.
4. Carnival of the Animals-Saint-Saens.
3. The Planets-Holst.
2. Symphony No. 6 (Pastorale)-Beethoven.
1. Lark Ascending-Vaughan Williams.