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

206061 Views 1470 Replies 38 Participants Last post by  Scrabbler

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) 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.

You can also view the list as an unranked, alphabetical list (though it may not be up-to-date). You can also see some simple statistical information here.

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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 5 new works per day. All newly added works begin on the lowest tier, but they can move up from there.

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.

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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.
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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.
Billone: FACE for voice and ensemble [2017]
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!
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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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]
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Jadin: Fantaisie Concertante in G minor [1820]
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Bach, C. P. E.: Sinfonias, Wq. 182 [1773]
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Krenek: String Quartet #8, op. 233 [1980]
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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)
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Stravinsky: Concerto in D [1946]
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Our votes on the 66th tier selected the following works:

To move up 2 to the 64th tier:
Bach: Cantata #78 "Jesu, der du meine Seele" [1724]
Chopin: Impromptus [1837, 1839, 1843], including the Fantaisie-Impromptu [1834]
Pergolesi: Stabat Mater [1736]

To move up 1 to the 65th tier:
Albinoni: Concerti a Cinque, op. 5 [1722]
Bruch: Concerto for Clarinet, Viola, and Orchestra in E minor, op. 88 [1911]
Dutilleux: Violin Concerto "L'arbre des songes (The Tree of Dreams)" [1985]
Field: Nocturnes [1812-1836]
Haydn: String Quartets, op. 50 "Prussian" [1787]
Leifs: Hekla, op. 52 [1961]
Messiaen: Catalogue d'oiseaux (Catalogue of Birds) [1958]
Paganini: 24 Caprices for Solo Violin, op. 1 [1817]
Poulenc: Dialogues des Carmélites [1956]
Reger: Piano Concerto in F minor, op. 114 [1910]
Rheinberger: Symphony #2 in F, op. 87 "Florentine" [1875]
Stockhausen: Kontakte [1958-60]
Strauss, J. II: An der schönen blauen Donau (On the Beautiful Blue Danube), op. 314 [1866]
Stravinsky: Le Chant du Rossignol (Song of the Nightingale) [1917]
Tchaikovsky: Manfred Symphony in B minor, op. 58 [1885]
Telemann: Paris Quartets [1730, 1738]
Verdi: Falstaff [1893]

To remain on the 66th tier:
Atterberg: Symphony #2 in F, op. 6 [1913]
Bernstein: Chichester Psalms [1965]
Brahms: Waltzes, op. 39 [1865]
Britten: Cello Symphony, op. 68 [1963]
Buxtehude: Jubilate Domino, BuxWV 64 [1690 or earlier]
Hartmann: Concerto funèbre [1939]
Haydn: Symphony #6 in D "Le Matin" [1761]
Kancheli: Symphony #5 "To the Memory of My Parents" [1977]
Khachaturian: Spartacus [1954]
Mompou: Musica Callada (Silent Music) [1959 to 1967]
Mozart: Adagio in B minor, K. 540 [1788]
Purcell: Come Ye Sons of Art, Away, Z. 323 [1694]
Purcell: Of old, when heroes thought it base (The Yorkshire Feast Song), Z. 333 [1690]
Rachmaninoff: Symphony #1 in D minor, op. 13 [1895]
Saint-Saëns: Violin Concerto #3 in B minor, op. 61 [1880]
Schumann: Overture, Scherzo, and Finale, op. 52 [1841]
Tchaikovsky: Pique Dame (The Queen of Spades), op. 68 [1890]
Villa-Lobos: Chôros #10 for chorus and orchestra "Rasga o coração" [1926]
Walton: Belshazzar's Feast [1931]
Yoshimatsu: Symphony #4, op. 82 [2000]

To move down 1 to the 67th tier:
Sousa: The Washington Post [1889]
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Anonymous: Codex Faenza [15th century]
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