Here's some more C20th epic music that I've been able to come up with:
Bartok - Concerto for Orchestra
Bax - Tintagel (tone poem)
Copland - Billy the Kid
Janacek - Taras Bulba; Sinfonietta
I was reading along this thread and getting more and more confused... and then, I started laughing and I just had to make myself stop, get a breath of air, and say thanks to all of you. Gee, these classical music types are just so-o-o stuffy and serious.
"When I open my eyes I must sigh, for what I see is contrary to my religion, and I must despise the world which does not know that music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy." - Ludwig van Beethoven
Speaking of the adjective "angry," one work that comes to mind is the Organ Concerto of Icelandic composer Jon Leifs. This is brutal work with aggressive organ playing, complete with grinding dissonances and tone clusters and shockingly loud purcussion whacks that sound like small cannons. This is a work where I really do feel a sense of anger, as opposed to just showy brutality. I guess when it premiered on Germany in the 1930s (I think that's the decade...I'll have to research the liner notes) that it started with a packed house only to end up being nearly empty as the work concluded...people were walking out in droves.
While not beautiful in a traditional sense, and not easy on the ears, it retains a primitive fascination and I like it quite a bit. There is a more lyrical middle section, though, which offers a breather between the out movements, which are quite overwhelming.
If I have a bad day at work, I like blasting this one and it delivers good catharsis.
"Music is not philosophy." --Akira Ifukube
I'm still waiting on reply as to where you read that Saint-Saens was a sado-masochist? I find that hard to believe without some concrete proof.
I would also put Rued Langgaard in the powerful, epic, angry, intense category in addition to Mahler.
If you haven't heard Langgaard, then you're ears will be in for quite a treat coming March 31st when his symphonies will be together in a box set on the Da Capo label.
It's going to be a thing of beauty.
In any case, I love Saint-Saens. I don't know this for a fact, but I think there was definitely something "off" about him. He's such a great composer though.
Carnival of the Animals is a good example, but so is Danse Macabre.
Again, as I said, Mahler and Langgaard personify the music you are requesting, Metalhead.
Personally, I think one ought to go in pursuit of music because of its aesthetic quality, rather than treating it like some mood-altering drug.*
For example, I can listen to some happy-clappy-crappy pop music but my reaction is one of discomfort and unhappiness. On the other hand, I can listen to a melancholy piece of classical music and feel edified and generally better. And on the other hand, I can listen to some metal deperately trying to be serious, dark and disturbing, and the result sounds comical.
*Personally I find actual drugs are better for this.
Last edited by Herzeleide; Mar-04-2009 at 18:28.