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J. S. Bach
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Cello Concerto no. 1 (essential)
Requiem (essential)
Piano Quintet (essential)
Concerto for Piano and String Orchestra (essential)
String Quartet no. 2 (essential)
String Quartet no. 3 (essential)
Symphony no. 2 "Saint Florian" (essential)
Collected Songs Where Every Verse is Filled With Grief
Concerto Grosso no. 3
Choir Concerto
Psalms of Repentance
Moz-Art à la Haydn
Concerto Grosso no. 4 - Symphony no. 5
Three Sacred Hymns
The Waltz Suite
The Glass Harmonica Suite
The Story of the Unkown Actor Suite
 

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His opera, Life With An Idiot. The ambitious Peer Gynt is another piece I enjoy. And concerto grosso no.2.
 

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I would echo the recommendation of the piano quintet, in particular, and the piano trio, as easy ways into Schnittke. The viola concerto with Bashmet is also worth trying. I like the symphonies but don't have a clear picture of them to make recommendations of where to start. Perhaps the concerto grosso 4/symphony?
 

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I wouldn't want to be without his Symphonies Nos. 3 and 8, really any of concerti, the piano quintet, the Requiem, the Gogol Suite, or the first Concerto Grosso. There's loads of stuff I would place in (the still very good) tier below those as well.
 

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If I may, I would compliment this with Sketches, an enlargement of the Gogol Suite. In 1985 the choreographer Andrei Petrov staged a ballet called Sketches to commemorate the 175th anniversary of Gogol's birth. As Schnittke was asked to provide the music he was able to press the earlier Gogol Suite back into service while fleshing it out with over a dozen new pieces, thus creating the expanded work on the recording below.

I second this. A fun score!
 
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