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Thread: Recommended first pieces?

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    Question Recommended first pieces?

    Relatively, I am new to classical music in general, as I only really started listening seriously a year ago.
    I have only come across two or three pieces from ballet's, would anybody be ale to suggest some good pieces/composers/ballets to explore?

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    Senior Member TxllxT's Avatar
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    Welcome on TC: I think ballet music is a great entrance to classical music. I myself am hooked on Russian composers like Prokofiev & Tchaikovsky, but also Delibes - Lakmé or Adam - Giselle are wonderful for repeated listening. I'm a typical listener who hardly ever sits down to watch ballet on a big screen, but perhaps your taste is different. Happy New Year!
    All we like sheep

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    Senior Member starthrower's Avatar
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    Stravinsky- The Firebird; Petrushka
    Prokofiev-Romeo and Juliet
    Ravel-Ma mere l'oye; Daphnis et Chloe
    Rimsky-Korsakov-Scheherazade
    Szymanowski-Harnasie

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    Senior Member Metairie Road's Avatar
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    Without a doubt, for a 'first time' ballet, I would have to say -

    Coppélia

    I have escorted groups of high-schoolers, who told me they would rather die than listen to classical music, to performances of this ballet and watched then sit entranced throughout.

    Nothing too complex or subtle, just lots of superb music and a simple story that even the youngest can understand.

    Best wishes
    Metairie Road
    Last edited by Metairie Road; Jan-01-2016 at 14:04.

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    Senior Member Becca's Avatar
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    While they were not intended as ballets, Tchaikovsky's 4 Suites for Orchestra have been choreographed many times because they are almost as balletic as his big 3 ballets. Try the 4th Suite - Mozartiana to begin with. Some ballet music which is perfect for dancing, is a bit less perfect for concert listening, but that tends to be a very personal opinion.

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    Senior Member jegreenwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Becca View Post
    While they were not intended as ballets, Tchaikovsky's 4 Suites for Orchestra have been choreographed many times because they are almost as balletic as his big 3 ballets. Try the 4th Suite - Mozartiana to begin with. Some ballet music which is perfect for dancing, is a bit less perfect for concert listening, but that tends to be a very personal opinion.
    Another work not originally created for ballet, but serving as the basis for two dance masterpieces is Mendelssohn's Overture and Incidental Music for "A Midsummer Night's Dream."

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    Senior Member Pyotr's Avatar
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    Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker, Coppelia, Mid-summers Night Dream, Giselle all have great music.

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    Senior Member Strange Magic's Avatar
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    Three ballets by Aaron Copland are excellent, both as the actual, danced ballets, but also as the suites of music extracted from them: Biily the Kid, Rodeo, Appalachian Spring. Very fresh and "American".

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    Senior Member Lyricus's Avatar
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    Stravinsky, Rite of Spring.

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    This disc got me hooked up on ballet music

    Delibes and Chopin: Ballet Music

    Chopin:Les Sylphides
    Coppélia - Suite


    Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, Heinz Fricke
    Last edited by Pugg; Jan-05-2016 at 07:24.
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    Senior Member Art Rock's Avatar
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    ^
    I still have that one from the late 80s.
    Allüberall und ewig blauen licht die Fernen! Ewig ... ewig ...

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    "Judith" by William Schuman:

    https://play.spotify.com/track/5IC8Ygk63CSSoQZLDjJXXq

    Bleak, often intricate, and would be interesting to see someone dance it, though honestly I don't see a difference between that ballet and his late symphonies, other than that they are called different things.

    The sound world is polychordal and basically atonal, but the music doesn't strike me as terribly chromatic compared with something like late Schoenberg. I think it's a good gate-way drug to more avant-garde stuff. And I think Schuman has a sound of his own, qualifying him as great in my book.

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    I also find that full scores are not ideal for listening, but my main interest is orchestral music, so ballet fanatics might differ! That said, I find some ballet music to be essential listening. One approach, is to listen to extended highlights. Make sure to seek out good performances. Tchaikovsky:Sleeping Beauty conducted by Ermler, Royal opera House Covent Garden orchestra is a favourite of mine:

    51lehj-GlwL.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by jegreenwood View Post
    Another work not originally created for ballet, but serving as the basis for two dance masterpieces is Mendelssohn's Overture and Incidental Music for "A Midsummer Night's Dream."
    A great highlights disk of that, with his third symphony, is Maag conducting the LSO:

    71LA6JWiuGL._SX425_.jpg

    The third symphony is easy, beautiful, music which sits well beside the "ballet" music.

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    Senior Member Becca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mal View Post
    A

    The third symphony is easy, beautiful, music which sits well beside the "ballet" music.
    ...and which was used by George Balanchine for his 1952 ballet Scotch Symphony

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