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Thread: Pick a Classical piece that represents ''best'' a classical music genre

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    Senior Member peeyaj's Avatar
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    Default Pick a Classical piece that represents ''best'' a classical music genre

    If you would choose a one classical music piece that would represents the ''best'' of a specific genre of classical music, what would it be? and why.

    It could be:

    1. The greatest achievement on the genre
    ;

    or


    2. The one you would recommend as a starting point to a classical music newbie.


    Here's my mine (with bias):

    Opera

    Don Giovanni by Mozart
    - A starting point to newbie in opera. It is debatable whether the Ring Cycle is the greater work, but Don Giovanni is the more accessible of the two.

    SPECIAL MENTION: Wagner operas (pm Couchie for details

    Symphony

    Symphony no. 9 by Ludwig van Beethoven -

    This work represents the struggle of a creative genius to create something original and innovative in its own time. It may not be my favorite symphony, but it is the greatest on that genre and certainly, the Ode to Joy, is loved by many.

    Lieder

    Winterreise by Franz Schubert -

    Many words have been said to the greatest song cyle ever composed, but the sublimity and desolateness of this work remains the same. Schubert's masterpiece is the window to the wanderer's soul. A masterpiece of the vocal literature.

    Sacred Music

    Mass in B Minor by Johann Sebastian Bach -

    A work of great profoundity and inspired music. Bach's musical mind created one of the glorious piece of music ever written, whether you're a believer or not.

    CONCERTOS

    Piano Concerto

    Piano Concerto no. 24 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart -

    Mozart's genius for the piano and his exquisite talent on orchestration clearly shows on this magnificent work. A piece of utter joy and sublimity.

    Violin Concerto

    Violin Concerto by Johannes Brahms -

    I may not like this piece as much as the Mendellsohn's one, but Brahms is at his finest on this beautiful work. I once thought this as a ''concerto for the orchestra with the lone violin supporting'', but now I appreciate the work as what it is.

    Cello Concerto

    Cello Concerto by Antonin Dvorak -

    If Brahms have gone gaga over this work, then we should, too. Dvorak's concerto is utterly sublime and beautiful.

    Misc.

    Clarinet Concerto by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart -

    Mozart is the greatest composer of the concertos. Why? Listen to this piece and you would know why!

    PIANO

    Piano Solo

    Diabelli Variations by Ludwig van Beethoven -

    I am torn between Bach's Well Tempered Clavier, Beethoven's Piano Sonata no. 32 and this work, but Beethoven's genius just flows in this piece. It may not be popular as the first two, but this work is a testament on Beethoven's greatness.

    SPECIAL MENTION:
    24 Preludes by Frediric Chopin


    Piano Four Hands

    Fantaise in F Minor D.940 by Franz Schubert -

    Any person you would ask what is the greatest work for Piano Four Hands, would undoubtly name this piece. Composed at the end of his life, this piece sings of tragedy and unrequieted love.

    Chamber Music

    String Quintet

    String Quintet in C Major by Franz Schubert

    - One of the greatest chamber music ever written, this work is the definiton of ''sublimity'' and divine. Schubert at his very best. My favorite piece of music.

    Piano Trio

    Piano Trio ''Archduke''

    - Beethoven is a master of chamber music. And the Archduke is a testament to this.

    String Quartet

    Sting Quartet no. 14 by Ludwig van Beethoven -

    This is not my favorite quartet, its Schubert's Death and the Maiden. But this work, is near at the top of the greatest chamber work ever written. A piece of utter profoundity.

    Ballet

    Swan Lake by Tchaikovsky

    - Loved by many, this is Tchai at his gorgeous best.

    SPECIAL MENTION:
    Rite of Spring by Igor Stravinsky



    Will update in my replies.

    What's yours?

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    Senior Member Crudblud's Avatar
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    I think I'd struggle to come up with anything generic enough to satisfy the criteria.

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    Hahahaha, Beethoven Symphony No. 9 as the best of the genre? What a load of old...

    I can't really answer the question because I don't think it makes much sense to call an individual work the pinnacle of a genre - there is too much variety for that to be a worthwhile statement. And I can't make a generic suggestion of starting points, because my suggestions would differ depending on the tastes and temperaments of the people I'm talking to.

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    Senior Member science's Avatar
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    Good points from Polednice but all the same, just for fun:

    Symphony: Brahms 4
    Other orchestral: Debussy Prelude to the afternoon of a faun
    Multiple orchestras: Stockhausen Gruppen
    Piano Concerto: Scharwenka 4
    Violin Concerto: Bruch 1
    Cello Concerto: Elgar
    Concerto cycle: Albinoni, op. 9
    Piano Sonata: Schubert D 960
    Other solo keyboard: Albeniz Iberia
    Violin Sonata: Enescu 3
    Violin sonata cycle: Biber, Mystery or Rosary Sonatas
    Cello Sonata: Franck
    Piano Trio: Rachmaninov Elegiaque 2
    Piano Quartet: Brahms 3 (a come-from-behind victory over Brahms 1)
    Piano Quintet: Fauré 1 (a come-from-behind victory over Brahms)
    String Quartet: Shostakovich 8
    String Quintet: Schubert
    String Sextet: Brahms 2
    Clarinet Quintet: Brahms
    Other work for clarinet and string quartet: Golijov Dreams and Prayers of Isaac the Blind
    chamber music with harp: Ravel Introduction & Allegro
    Minimalist work for chamber ensemble: Glass Aguas da Amazonia
    Song Cycle: Schubert Winterreise
    Requiem Mass: Brahms German
    Regular Mass: Bach
    Christmas work: Schutz
    Oratorio: Handel Solomon
    Stabat mater: Szymanowski
    Other choral religious work: Allegri Miserere
    Choral, non-religious: Orff Carmina Burana
    Ballet: Adam Giselle
    Opera: Mozart Don Giovanni
    Soundtrack: Herrmann, Taxi Driver
    Work for magnetic tape: Nono Contrappunto dialettico alla mente
    Work for magnetic tape and string quartet: Ostertag All the Rage
    Work for helicopter and string quartet: Stockhausen
    Work for cannons and orchestra: Tchaikovsky 1812 Overture
    Variations on a popular song: Rzewski Variations on El pueblo unido jamas sera vencido
    Portrayal of creation: Rebel Les elemens
    Portrayal of war: Biber Battalia
    Portrayal of political oppression: Janacek Diary of the Disappeared
    Expression of Grief: Janacek On an Overgrown Path
    Use of the "Dies irae" chant: Liszt Totentanz (come from behind over Rachmaninov's Isle of the Dead)
    Liberty for wolves is death to the lambs.

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    Senior Member Selby's Avatar
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    Quite the comprehensive list.

    We have fairly similar taste, and since I'm not familiar with a couple of these pieces that means I get to discover some new music I will likely enjoy!

    thanks!

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    Senior Member Ravndal's Avatar
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    I'm just amazed that peeyjay only mentioned Schubert 3 times. That truly is unbiased ^^
    "That as s."

    - Mark Twain

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    Senior Member Weston's Avatar
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    I think time period is more significant than genre, or maybe at least AS significant. One cannot easily compare a concerto of Corelli's day with one of today. It's like trying to compare a T-Rex with a hummingbird, though both are supposedly related species. (I'll leave it to the reader to decide which critter best compares to which time period.) Also a Beethoven piano concerto is very similar in mood and intent to one of his symphonies.

    But this thread is over a year old, so it's probably moot.

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    Senior Member peeyaj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ravndal View Post
    I'm just amazed that peeyjay only mentioned Schubert 3 times. That truly is unbiased ^^
    I would name Schubert more but the forces beyond me (LvB fans) would react negatively. :P
    Schubert manages that most supreme of feats, to be melancholy without being maudlin, his pain is not a mockery of pain but truly heartfelt, and he manages to pass that though with all of its complexities in his music.

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    Senior Member sharik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peeyaj View Post
    choose a one classical music piece that would represents the ''best'' of a specific genre of classical music
    Richard Strauss' overture to Also Sprach Zarathustra, it best represents the entire classical music.

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    Senior Member Notung's Avatar
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    Puccini's "Nessun Dorma" (and, by association, the whole of "Turandot) could be a great summation of what opera is about: passion, drama, rich co-op between vocals and orchestra, soaring high notes, and technical perfection. Verdi's "Aida" is another good one. But pride of place should go to Mozart's "Don Giovanni", which is just plain perfect.
    "Blessed be your suffering"-Wagner, Parsifal

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    Senior Member Notung's Avatar
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    Sorry, I kind of cheated and put several for one genre!
    "Blessed be your suffering"-Wagner, Parsifal

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    Senior Member Rhombic's Avatar
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    The Mighty Handful's symphonic style: Borodin 2nd Symphony
    Someday, something will come out of anything.

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    Senior Member lupinix's Avatar
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    Not all are per se my absolute favorites in the genres but just all pieces I like a lot:

    Symphony: Prokofiev 5
    Symphonic Poem: Scriabin Poeme of Extasy
    Orchestral Suite: Handel Water music
    Orchestral other: Rachmaninov Symphonic Dances
    Ballet: Prokofiev Romeo and Juliet
    Incidental music: Grieg Peer Gynt
    Piano Concerto: Rachmaninov 3
    Violin Concerto: Sibelius
    Cello Concerto: Shostakovich 1
    Harp Concerto: Alwyn
    Triple Concerto: Bach for flute, violin and harpsichord
    Choir: Dufay Missa l'Homme Armée
    Orchestral song: Mahler Kindertotenlieder
    Opera: Monteverdi l'Orfeo
    Piano & Violin: Rachmaninov Vocalise
    String Quartet: Ravel
    2 Pianos and percussion: Bartok sonata for ...
    4 Pianos: Simeon ten Holt Canto Ostinato
    2 Pianos: Rachmaninov Suite 1
    Piano Sonata: Chopin 3
    Piano Character Pieces: Rachmaninov preludes
    Piano other: Balakirev Islamey
    Violin Solo: Bach Partita 2
    Percussion: Varese Ionisations

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    For cello concerto, I would say Dvorak. There's never been a finer one.

    For string quintet, the Mozart g minor.

    For ballet, Sleeping Beauty by Tchaikovsky.

    For piano solo, Variations on a Theme by Handel by Brahms.

    For sacred music, Requiem Mass by Verdi.
    Last edited by hpowders; Mar-02-2014 at 15:46.
    Facts don't care about your feelings.

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    Senior Member DaDirkNL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hpowders View Post
    For cello concerto, I would say Dvorak. There's never been a finer one.

    For string quintet, the Mozart g minor.

    For ballet, Sleeping Beauty by Tchaikovsky.

    For piano solo, Variations on a Theme by Handel by Brahms.

    For sacred music, Requiem Mass by Verdi.
    I agree with some of these, but the string quintet? Surely Schubert's quintet is the finest among them?
    You don't have to think that of course, but I'm just suprised.

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