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Thread: the Talk Classical Community's Favorite and Most Highly Recommend Works

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    Senior Member science's Avatar
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    Default the Talk Classical Community's Favorite and Most Highly Recommend Works



    The Talk Classical Community's
    Favorite and Most Highly Recommend Works


    Here is a prioritized list of classical music (inclusively defined) recommendations put together by members of the Talk Classical discussion forum and the (now defunct) Amazon.com classical music discussion forum.



    Naturally, these recommendations represent the knowledge and tastes of the people who have helped build it. We do not claim that it is the official canon of art music, or that it is anything like an objective ranking of the greatness of each work!

    However, to the best of our knowledge, nothing else like this exists -- no other list of prioritized recommendations including all genres of classical music, no other list as helpful to an old veteran looking for a surprise as to a newbie just familiarizing herself with the canon.


    One interesting way to explore the list is this very-easy-to-use "Music Selector," created by a TC member who wishes to remain anonymous.

    You can also view the list as a spreadsheet (though it may not be up-to-date), or as an unranked, alphabetical list. You can also see some simple statistical information here, which might help you estimate how prestigious each tier is.

    _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

    Our project is ongoing, and we’d be very happy for you to add your own voice!

    You can change our list in three ways:

    1. The main way is to participate in the threads with titles like, "The first tier," "The second tier," and so on. You can find them in the polls sub-forum. Usually we have several going on at a time, but in order to avoid confusion, please don't bump the threads that have timed out!

    2. The second way is to add new works to the list. If you want to recommend a work that is not already on our list, just post it in this thread. You can add up to 1 new work per day. All newly added works begin on the lowest tier, but they can move up from there.

    3. Finally, you can move a work that you really love up rather quickly by creating a reference thread for it, such as this thread for Brahms's violin concerto.

    To qualify, your thread has to:



    You can include almost anything else you'd like, such as requests for recommended recordings, analysis of the work, links to reviews or analysis, links to other TC threads about the work or its composer, links to the score on IMSLP, a link to the composer's thread in the guestbook sub-forum here, a youtube video of a performance or a lecture about the work (respecting copyright laws), and so on, as long as the focus remains on the work.

    The second post of the thread will contain a template you can use.

    The goal of the reference threads is to promote the works and help people who aren't already familiar with the works learn about and appreciate them.

    By creating a reference thread, and posting a link to it in this thread (to be sure that I see your thread thread), you can move move a work to a higher tier. Creating a thread for a work on tiers 1-10 will move that work up 1 tier; a thread for a work on tiers 11-20 will move that work up 2 tiers; and so on. (If for some reason you don't want to move it up that many tiers, you can ask me to move it up fewer.)

    You can only create 1 reference thread per day. Also, this can only be done one time for each work! Once a work has a reference thread, that's it!

    One final way that you can contribute is simply by letting me know if you see errors in the list, such as incorrect dates, misspellings, and so on. You can do that in this thread, or if you prefer you can PM me.

    _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

    People might disagree with your votes, and you might disagree with theirs, but please be patient and persistent. Your participation will make our list better. We value everyone's participation.

    If you are disappointed that a work you champion is not getting more community support, feel free to advocate for it, telling us why we should support it. Advocacy for a work will always be both more welcome and more productive than advocacy against a work.

    Please be polite. Obviously we have different tastes and we don't all know the same things; we do not all agree about how strongly various works should be recommended, how great or important they are, or anything else.

    The point is to learn from each other and help each other, to have a good time exploring music together.

    Special thanks to Trout, who has maintained this list for years and years, and did a heck of a lot of work compiling recording recommendations, and to mmsbls, who has agreed to edit the posts in our thread when needed.

    And thanks to all the people who have contributed in various ways to this project over the years! I personally have learned a lot from it, and I'm sure others have as well. I hope this will be helpful to people for many years to come, and I hope we continue to refine it as we all learn more about this amazing tradition.
    Last edited by mmsbls; Jul-23-2020 at 15:33.
    Liberty for wolves is death to the lambs.

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    Senior Member science's Avatar
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    While the 111th tier voting is ongoing, I won't add any works to the lowest tier, but everyone can go ahead and nominate one work per day and I'll add them all later.
    Liberty for wolves is death to the lambs.

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    Billone: FACE for voice and ensemble [2017]
    Liberty for wolves is death to the lambs.

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    Nørgård: Seadrift [1978]
    Mahler, Glass, Beethoven, Vaughan Williams, Wolfe, Liszt, Reich, Bach, Nyman, Schubert

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    Goehr: String Quartet #3, op. 37 [1976]

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    I can't edit the OP anymore, but I wish I'd included a link to this website: The Talk Classical Community's Favorite and Most Highly Recommended Works. A lot of people will like the look of that much better than the look of the Google doc!
    Liberty for wolves is death to the lambs.

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    Senior Member MrMeatScience's Avatar
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    I've just taken another look for Ustvolskaya on the list and there's shockingly little! I'll set about rectifying it.

    Ustvolskaya: Piano Concerto [1946]

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    Rameau: Les Fêtes d'Hébé [1739]
    Mahler, Glass, Beethoven, Vaughan Williams, Wolfe, Liszt, Reich, Bach, Nyman, Schubert

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    Our votes on the 12th tier selected the following works...

    To move up to the 11th tier:
    Bach: Cantata #82 "Ich habe genug" [1731]
    Handel: Messiah, HWV 56 [1741]
    Mozart: Piano Concerto #23 in A, K. 488 [1786]
    Ravel: Daphnis et Chloé (ballet and orchestral suites) [1912]
    Shostakovich: Symphony #5 in D minor, op. 47 [1937]

    To remain on the 12th tier:
    Prokofiev: Romeo and Juliet, op. 64 [1936]
    Schumann: Piano Concerto in A minor, op. 54 [1845]

    To move down to the 13th tier:
    Prokofiev: Piano Concerto #3 in C, op. 26 [1921]
    Saint-Saëns: Symphony #3 in C minor, op. 78 "Organ" [1886]
    Last edited by science; May-29-2020 at 03:21.
    Liberty for wolves is death to the lambs.

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    Jadin: Fantaisie Concertante in G minor [1820]

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    Copland: Piano Variations [1930]

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    Bach, C. P. E.: Sinfonias, Wq. 182 [1773]
    Mahler, Glass, Beethoven, Vaughan Williams, Wolfe, Liszt, Reich, Bach, Nyman, Schubert

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    Krenek: String Quartet #8, op. 233 [1980]

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    Quote Originally Posted by science View Post
    2. The second way is to add new works to the list. If you want to recommend a work that is not already on our list, just post it in this thread. You can add up to 1 new work per day. All newly added works begin on the lowest tier, but they can move up from there.
    Martinů: Concerto for 2 pianos & orchestra, H. 292 (1943)
    Last edited by Skilmarilion; May-30-2020 at 09:17.

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    Ustvolskaya: Octet [1950]

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