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10 greatest pieces

Posted By: JoelW

10 greatest pieces - 02/22/19 09:43 PM

Before you complain about this thread, I think it's a valid question to ask. About a year ago I had a conversation with an older man who was very familiar with the repertoire. I asked him what his favorite concertos were and he replied with "the ones that I still listen to anymore are..." and proceeded to list them. Clearly, certain pieces have profound lasting power with certain people. This is a very subjective question, so list your personal top ten list of greatest works. Any kind of work, any time period.
Posted By: Franz Beebert

Re: 10 greatest pieces - 02/22/19 09:48 PM

Any kind of work as in any kind of instrument?
Posted By: JoelW

Re: 10 greatest pieces - 02/22/19 09:59 PM

Originally Posted by Franz Beebert
Any kind of work as in any kind of instrument?

Any instrument except kazoo.
Posted By: Carey

Re: 10 greatest pieces - 02/23/19 12:36 AM

OK - I'll bite !! smile

In no particular order....

Mozart - Requiem
Brahms - Requiem (particularly How Lovely is Thy Dwelling Place)
Bach - B minor Mass
Verdi - Requiem
Brahms - Academic Festival Overture
Schumann - Piano Concerto
Schubert - Wanderer Fantasy
Beethoven- Symphony No. 5
Bizet - Carmen
Chopin - Ballade No. 4

Runners up...
Rachmaninoff - Piano Concerto No. 2
Puccini - La Boheme
Schumann - Toccata Opus 7
Schumann - Novelletten Opus 21
Mozart - Symphony No. 41


Posted By: currawong

Re: 10 greatest pieces - 02/23/19 02:17 AM

I'll bite too.
So this is a sort of Desert Island list? List the pieces you could least bear to be without on a desert island? That’s a bit easier than “greatest”.

Today’s list (tomorrow’s may be slightly different), in no particular order:

[1] Mahler: Das Lied von der Erde
[2] Bach: St Matthew Passion
[3] R.Strauss: Der Rosenkavalier
[4] Faure: La Bonne Chanson
[5] Schubert: Winterreise
[6] Berg: Violin Concerto
[7] Brahms: Alto Rhapsody
[8] Schubert: Die Schöne Müllerin
[9] Stravinsky: The Rake’s Progress
[10] George Butterworth: Songs of a Shropshire Lad
Posted By: currawong

Re: 10 greatest pieces - 02/23/19 02:20 AM

PS I like your list, Carey. smile
Posted By: Mark_C

Re: 10 greatest pieces - 02/23/19 04:23 AM

As per some of what was discussed on the other thread, I'm gonna do separate "greatest" and "favorite" lists. I try to distinguish although it's impossible to do it anywhere near completely, among other reasons because there's no way to talk about "greatness" without involving one's preferences.

Greatest

1. Gotta be something by Bach.....let's see....dunno....I'll say:
Toccata, Adagio & Fugue in C major (organ, with piano arrangement by Busoni)
This isn't really a real pick of that piece, just picking what piece of Bach I can think of for this. It has to be something by Bach. I almost said 6th Brandenburg Concerto.
Or "The Well Tempered Clavier."

2. Beethoven 9th Symphony
3. Brahms Requiem
4. Beethoven 5th Symphony

BTW, just decided on this "rule" (for me):
No composer gets more than 2 mentions.

5. Handel Messiah
6. Chopin Sonata in B minor
7. Mozart Sinfonia Concertante for violin and viola
8. Bach Brandenburg Concerto #6
9. Scriabin Sonata #9

So, just one more spot.
Let's see, what's missing.....
Lots of stuff. I don't know operas well enough (nor love them enough), nor Mahler and Bruckner, nor lots of other stuff.

In fact I'm going to leave off #10 completely, as an emphasis that there's just too much "I don't know" for me to attempt a complete list.


Favorite

1. Chopin Sonata in B minor
2. Chopin Polonaise in F# Minor
3. Schubert "little" Sonata in A major, D. 664
4. Mozart Sinfonia Concertante for violin and viola
5. Brahms Requiem
6. Chopin A-flat Polonaise (Op. 53)
7. Bach Brandenburg Concerto #5
8. Mozart Sonata in D major for 2 pianos, K. 448
9. Scriabin Sonata #9
10. Chopin Etude in A minor, Op. 25/11

BTW: It's coincidence that Scriabin "#9" is "9th" on either list (not to mention on both).
Posted By: Carey

Re: 10 greatest pieces - 02/23/19 04:59 AM

Originally Posted by currawong
PS I like your list, Carey. smile
I like the first eight of yours as well. I'm not familiar with the Stravinsky or Butterworth...better do something about that !! smile
Posted By: Mark_C

Re: 10 greatest pieces - 02/23/19 05:55 AM

Overcoming my restraint about completing the "Greatests" list... grin

Originally Posted by Mark_C
1. Gotta be something by Bach.....let's see....dunno....I'll say:
Toccata, Adagio & Fugue in C major (organ, with piano arrangement by Busoni)
This isn't really a real pick of that piece, just picking what piece of Bach I can think of for this. It has to be something by Bach. I almost said 6th Brandenburg Concerto.
Or "The Well Tempered Clavier."

2. Beethoven 9th Symphony
3. Brahms Requiem
4. Beethoven 5th Symphony

BTW, just decided on this "rule" (for me):
No composer gets more than 2 mentions.

5. Handel Messiah
6. Chopin Sonata in B minor
7. Mozart Sinfonia Concertante for violin and viola
8. Bach Brandenburg Concerto #6
9. Scriabin Sonata #9

....I'm going to leave off #10 completely, as an emphasis that there's just too much "I don't know" for me to attempt a complete list.

What, no Schubert??
That won't do.

Adding:
Schubert Trio (piano, violin, cello) in E-flat major, D. 929 (usu. called Op. 100)

I'm putting that as #7;
#'s 8 and 9 get bumped down one.
Posted By: currawong

Re: 10 greatest pieces - 02/23/19 06:34 AM

Originally Posted by Mark_C
What, no Schubert??
That won't do.
Must. Have. Schubert. smile
(the E flat trio nearly went on my list too)
Posted By: Jorleyy

Re: 10 greatest pieces - 02/23/19 06:50 AM

I love Schubert so much that my list could easily run the risk of almost only consisting of his music...

Here are what I consider top 10 greatest pieces

1. Beethoven String quartet in A minor Op 132
2. Schubert String quintet D 956
3. Bach St Matthew Passion
4. Schubert Winterreise
5. Beethoven String quartet in C sharp minor Op 130
6. Mozart Requiem
7. Bach Goldberg variations
8. Schubert Piano sonata D 960
9. Beethoven Piano sonata Op 111
10. Chopin Barcarolle Op 60

Runners up
Schubert Trout quintet in A major D 667
Schubert Piano trio in E flat major D 929
Schubert Die Schöne Müllerin
Schubert String quartet Death and the Maiden
Beethoven Piano Sonata Op 109
Beethoven String quartet in B flat major Op 130
Beethoven Symphony 9
Mozart Piano Concerto in C minor K 491
Mozart Don Giovanni
Chopin Ballade 4 Op 52
Bach WTC Bk 1 and 2
Bach Mass in B minor
Posted By: Mark_C

Re: 10 greatest pieces - 02/23/19 07:53 AM

Funny thing: Without seeing Jorleyy's post -- before seeing it -- I was coming back here to put that C# minor Beethoven quartet on my list. (Following extensive internal consultation grin I realized I needed to run back and put it on there.)
BTW it's actually Op. 131.

Great seeing all that vocal and chamber music on your lists!
And isn't it so: the more we see other people's lists,. we're thinking "how could I have left out [so-and-so]." But I was adding that Beethoven before seeing that anyone had mentioned it.
The Chopin Barcarolle is my favorite piece in the world. It just wasn't one of my favorite pieces at the exact moment that I did my lists. ha

Revised list:
("final" -- until I change it again) grin

1. Bach Toccata, Adagio & Fugue in C major
2. Beethoven 9th Symphony
3. Brahms Requiem
4. Beethoven String Quartet in C# minor, Op. 131
5. Handel Messiah
6. Chopin Sonata in B minor
7. Schubert Trio in E-flat major, D. 929/Op.100
8. Mozart Sinfonia Concertante for violin and viola
9. Bach Brandenburg Concerto #6
10. Scriabin Sonata #9
Posted By: johnstaf

Re: 10 greatest pieces - 02/23/19 08:11 AM

Beethoven Symphony No.9
Beethoven Diabelli Variations
Bach Art of Fugue
Bach Well Tempered Clavier
Beethoven Missa Solemnis
Mozart Piano Concerto in C Minor
Beethoven Piano Concerto No 4
Schumann Fantasie op.17.
Mozart Symphony no. 41.
Schubert Sonata in B flat, D. 960.
Posted By: outo

Re: 10 greatest pieces - 02/23/19 08:20 AM

An impossible task...even for just piano pieces. I might try again after I have finished my quest to know every piece of classical piano literature ever published...

All I can say that my list would be very different. I would certainly include Shosty's P&F nr. 24, Chopin Barcarolle, Francks prelude, fugue and variations and prelude, choral and fugue, a couple of the best Scarlatti sonatas and Scriabin's best works. Those just never get old...but the list would soon expand beyond 10 anyway.
Posted By: Mark_C

Re: 10 greatest pieces - 02/23/19 08:26 AM

Originally Posted by Mark_C
Revised list:
("final" -- until I change it again) grin

Glad I added that -- because I have to change it already (about half an hour later).

I made a mistake on the # of the Brandenburg Concerto.
I went to listen to it -- and saw that it's the wrong one. I don't mean it stinks or anything ha .....just that it's not the one I meant.
(#4, not #6; for years I've been thinking it's #6)

1. Bach Toccata, Adagio & Fugue in C major
2. Beethoven 9th Symphony
3. Brahms Requiem
4. Beethoven String Quartet in C# minor, Op. 131
5. Handel Messiah
6. Chopin Sonata in B minor
7. Schubert Trio in E-flat major, D. 929/Op.100
8. Mozart Sinfonia Concertante for violin and viola
9. Bach Brandenburg Concerto #4
10. Scriabin Sonata #9
Posted By: dolce sfogato

Re: 10 greatest pieces - 02/23/19 07:03 PM

1. Bach Goldberg variations
2. Wagner Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg
3. Strauss Vier letze Lieder
4. Mahler Symphony no.9
5. Beethoven Symphony no.7
6. Chopin Sonata no.3
7. Brahms Ein Deutsches Requiem
8. Ravel Daphnis et Chloé
9. Strauss Eine Alpensymfonie
10.Brahms Piano Quintet
Posted By: bennevis

Re: 10 greatest pieces - 02/23/19 07:38 PM

In the interest of fairness (something I'm renowned for wink ), I made some ground rules: no composer shall have more than one work represented, and I'm going to list them in roughly chronological order, because I don't want a "Top of the Pops" format, because (obviously) they aren't pop, therefore they're all equally good. thumb therefore there's no clear winner, because there isn't any, and I hope that's all as clear as mud.

In no particular order except chronological order:

1) Bach: Matthäus-Passion
2) Handel: Messiah
3) Haydn: The Creation
4) Mozart: Le Nozze di Figaro
5) Beethoven: Symphony No.9
6) Schubert: Winterreise
7) Brahms: Ein deutsches Requiem
8) Wagner: Parsifal
9) Schoenberg: Gurrelieder
10) Stravinsky: Le sacre du printemps

P.S. These are what I consider to be the 10 greatest pieces in all Western music. They aren't necessarily my 10 favourite pieces wink .
Posted By: petebfrance

Re: 10 greatest pieces - 02/23/19 08:02 PM

Dunno, will think about it. However, I notice a number of Requiems here and the only one I actually listen to regularly is that by Maurice Durufle. It may or may not make my 'hit list' - but on the off chance that others here are unaware of it I include a link. No apologies ;), I 'discovered' it on a cassette, whose cover picture I liked (oh dear, but I used to paint a lot at the time so that's my excuse) at Peterborough Cathedral many years ago and have loved it ever since. It comes in a number of versions, but we won't go into that...

to me it is the embodiment of church music as I understand it.
Posted By: bennevis

Re: 10 greatest pieces - 02/23/19 08:40 PM

Originally Posted by petebfrance
Dunno, will think about it. However, I notice a number of Requiems here and the only one I actually listen to regularly is that by Maurice Durufle. It may or may not make my 'hit list' - but on the off chance that others here are unaware of it I include a link.
to me it is the embodiment of church music as I understand it.


I came to Duruflé via Fauré's Requiem (they're always coupled on the same cassette/LP/CD), the latter of which I got to know very well because it was the first Requiem I sang in, as a student in my school Chapel Choir. We performed it several times, both in school concerts and local churches.

Having grown up mostly on the Austro-German masters as a chorister (singing lot of Bach, Handel and Mendelssohn), I found Fauré's musical language - with what I called its "chromatic slides" - very distinctively 'new', and the Duruflé takes that even further.

However, it has to be said that the English collegiate choral sound with pure-toned trebles was probably not what French composers had in mind wink , though that was what I loved.......
Posted By: JoelW

Re: 10 greatest pieces - 02/23/19 10:23 PM

No mention of Faun yet? Weird.
Posted By: petebfrance

Re: 10 greatest pieces - 02/24/19 02:53 PM

Originally Posted by bennevis
I came to Duruflé via Fauré's Requiem (they're always coupled on the same cassette/LP/CD), the latter of which I got to know very well because it was the first Requiem I sang in, as a student in my school Chapel Choir. We performed it several times, both in school concerts and local churches.

Having grown up mostly on the Austro-German masters as a chorister (singing lot of Bach, Handel and Mendelssohn), I found Fauré's musical language - with what I called its "chromatic slides" - very distinctively 'new', and the Duruflé takes that even further.
.....

Unfortunately I heard the Duruflé first and was somewhat underwhelmed by the Fauré when I heard it. Possibly wouldn't have been the case if I'd heard the Fauré first. By the time I heard both I was familiar with the likes of Ravel, Debussy and Delius (and others) and was just 'getting into' Bartok (a kind of self-driven musical exploration which I think many of us go through) so to be honest saw nothing out of the ordinary.
I've never been in a choir - I'm a mere consumer of the music - performing those pieces must have given a much better insight and appreciation.
Back to the '10 Greatest Pieces,' though, I'm stumped (oh, cricket terminology!)
Tried listing the symphonies and concertos to start with and that was my 10 gone. Then I thought of loads of others, then of others who are 'not 'he greats' and whose music has perhaps had a flush of popularity (like perhaps Mascagni and Massenet) and long-forgotten pieces which need to be listened to again. So I'm enjoying the thread, lots of listening to do, but will struggle to come up with the '10 greatest.'
Posted By: Vilhelm Moqvist

Re: 10 greatest pieces - 02/24/19 09:34 PM

I'm disappointed by the lack of Mahler entusiasts here! I would at least except everyone to include the 9th symphony in their list grin

My list

1. Mahler Symphony 9
2. Wagner Parsifal
3. Wagner Tristan
4. Wagner Ring Cycle
5. Mozart Don Giovanni
6. Prokofiev Sonata 8
7. Mahler Symphony 5 (that adagietto!)
8. Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto 2
9. Bartok Bluebeards Castle
10. Beethoven Sonata 31
Posted By: pianoloverus

Re: 10 greatest pieces - 02/25/19 01:05 AM

I find the replies interesting although I find a few of the choices farfetched. I personally find it not possible to choose the 10 greatest compositions because I think there are far too many compositions that are supremely great. I don't think I could even choose the 10 greatest compositions by just one very great composer or the 10 greatest sonatas.
Posted By: currawong

Re: 10 greatest pieces - 02/25/19 01:57 AM

Originally Posted by pianoloverus
I find the replies interesting although I find a few of the choices farfetched. I personally find it not possible to choose the 10 greatest compositions because I think there are far too many compositions that are supremely great. I don't think I could even choose the 10 greatest compositions by just one very great composer or the 10 greatest sonatas.
I agree up to a point, but Joel did qualify his request a bit so that it almost became "personal favourites". I decided to take it as "great works you couldn't live without", or something like that. Otherwise the list could spark heated exchange (X greater than Y?) instead of interest in what other people really value and love. Using Joel's words, "certain pieces have profound lasting power with certain people". I decided to list ten pieces which have had "profound lasting power" for me. (And I also think they're great works, of their genre.)
Posted By: Mark_C

Re: 10 greatest pieces - 02/25/19 03:39 AM

Originally Posted by pianoloverus
I find the replies interesting although I find a few of the choices farfetched. I personally find it not possible to choose the 10 greatest compositions because I think there are far too many compositions that are supremely great. I don't think I could even choose the 10 greatest compositions by just one very great composer or the 10 greatest sonatas.

Agree with every bit of that, including the "not possible" -- but I find it interesting and fun to try.

And y'know, come to think of it, lots of things are like that.
Like, I can never play any piece really how I think it should be, or how I'd like to play it -- but I find it interesting and fun to try! smile
Posted By: petebfrance

Re: 10 greatest pieces - 02/25/19 03:50 PM

OK, I've had a go. Some of it may be a bit tongue in cheek, but I did my best. Have included links, which hopefully somebody will enjoy, and the occasional explanation;

1. Hearts and Flowers - Theodore Moses Tobani
The ultimate air violin tune. This doesn't sound like the original, but was all I could find.
2. Skaters Waltz - Emile Waldteurfel
Used extensively to accompany graceful - and not so graceful movement.
3. Charpentier - Te Deum
Amazing opening (very popular), the rest is so good too.
4. Dvorak - Humoresque, Op. 101, No. 7
Often sung as humorous song, but not like this!
5. In the Hall of the Mountain King (Peer Gynt) by Edvard Grieg - deservedly very popular and conjures up interesting thoughts.
6. Aram Khachaturian - Spartacus - Adagio
I have a record of this conducted by Khachaturian. To me this has a strong influence on 'film music composers' such as Nino Rota ('Legend of the Glass Mountain,' music accompanying the Peter Ustinov film of 'Death on the Nile') One of my all time favourite pieces of music.
7. Haydn Wood - Roses of Picardy
1st world war music. The extremely popular song came first I believe, but his orchestral version is so beautiful.
8. Royal Choral Society: 'Hallelujah Chorus' from Handel's Messiah
No comment needed.
9. Schubert - Ave Maria
again, no comment needed
10. EASTER HYMN (REGINA COELI) from CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA - Julia Varady
and a bonus from 10, Mascagni - Cavalleria rusticana: Intermezzo

Unfortunately, lots of my favourites missed the list frown and yes, I do like s-l-o-w music smile
Posted By: Waxwing

Re: 10 greatest pieces - 02/25/19 06:38 PM

Slightly staggered no one seems to know Monteverdi's Vespers!
Posted By: petebfrance

Re: 10 greatest pieces - 02/25/19 08:33 PM

OK, the previous one was for fun - well, I hoped it would amuse and perhaps interest somebody (no sign of that, but c'est la vie). All time favourites:
Symphonies:
1. Beethoven 6th
2. Sibelius 5th
3. Franck in D minor
4. Dvorak 'From the New World' (yes, I admit it!)
Violin Concertos:
5. Sibelius
6. Mendelssohn
7. Mozart No3
Other Concertos:
8. Dvorak Cello Concerto
9. Mendelsohnn Piano Concerto
10. Rachmaninoff piano concerto 2

After that, loads, but suspect the list would change depending on mood.
Posted By: BruceD

Re: 10 greatest pieces - 02/25/19 09:25 PM

Originally Posted by petebfrance
OK, the previous one was for fun - well, I hoped it would amuse and perhaps interest somebody (no sign of that, but c'est la vie).[...]


Well, yes, it did interest me, but only to the point that I insist that "Roses of Picardy" should be considerably higher on your list! And it does have to be a vocal version because the superlative poetry is so wonderfully carried and expressed by the music.

Cheers!
Posted By: petebfrance

Re: 10 greatest pieces - 02/25/19 10:03 PM

Originally Posted by BruceD
Originally Posted by petebfrance
OK, the previous one was for fun - well, I hoped it would amuse and perhaps interest somebody (no sign of that, but c'est la vie).[...]


Well, yes, it did interest me, but only to the point that I insist that "Roses of Picardy" should be considerably higher on your list! And it does have to be a vocal version because the superlative poetry is so wonderfully carried and expressed by the music.

Cheers!

You are right, of course. Your criticism is perfectly justified and I can only apologize!
When I hear the orchestral version I remember the words and the connotations as well, and I agree it definitely should have been higher.
Posted By: bennevis

Re: 10 greatest pieces - 02/25/19 10:38 PM

This thread reminds me of Desert Island Discs, the very long-running program on BBC Radio 4 where "castaways" are asked to pick eight records to bring with them to the desert island, along with a luxury of their choice (BTW, many choose a piano). Of course, the island has a record player (now a CD player, maybe even with MP3 player?).

This is a list of the most popular "tracks" and composers that have been chosen by castaways over a seventy-year period:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/26v4KfMLDfnJQ8n4mB2fWr0/facts-and-figures

Not a bad list, as I'm sure you'll agree, bearing in mind that British castaways make up more than 50% of those who stranded themselves (through no fault of their own) on that mythical island grin. No pop music made it to the top eight. I wonder what the list would look like if the program was made in the US, or Russia, or Germany, or Japan, or......

Incidentally, if the title of the thread had been "10 favorite pieces" (which apparently it's already morphed into), my list would be quite different from that I listed earlier as "10 greatest pieces".

At this precise moment in time, the list would look like this (in no particular order except chronological again):

1) Bach: Goldberg Variations (piano or harp, not harpsichord)
2) Handel (in Mozart's arrangement): Der Messias, K572
3) Mozart: Don Giovanni
4) Mozart: Clarinet Concerto
5) Beethoven: Symphony No.6 (Pastoral)
6) Schubert: Die schöne Müllerin
7) Chopin: Piano Concerto No.1 in E minor
8) Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto in E minor
9) Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No.3
10) Mahler: Symphony No.2 (Resurrection)
Posted By: slipperykeys

Re: 10 greatest pieces - 03/02/19 08:08 PM

Originally Posted by petebfrance
OK, I've had a go. Some of it may be a bit tongue in cheek,



I actually loved your list. For example there is so much great music from WW1 that to see a song included was a thoughtful thing to do.

I would have included "They'll never believe me", by Jerome Kern, from "Oh, What a lovely war", it's on You Tube and very moving indeed, which is part of what music is about for me.

In fact to be really provocative I might have included "Nellie the elephant" and the "Bonanza" theme (I love old Westerns.... from the 50's and 60's, when cowboys shaved, washed and never swore!)

Us piano enthusiasts deserve a kick up the where-is-it occasionally for our stuffy narrow-mindedness!

Thanks for providing it.
Posted By: johnstaf

Re: 10 greatest pieces - 03/02/19 08:50 PM

Originally Posted by Waxwing
Slightly staggered no one seems to know Monteverdi's Vespers!


Not true.
Posted By: petebfrance

Re: 10 greatest pieces - 03/02/19 10:29 PM

Originally Posted by slipperykeys
Originally Posted by petebfrance
OK, I've had a go. Some of it may be a bit tongue in cheek,



I actually loved your list. For example there is so much great music from WW1 that to see a song included was a thoughtful thing to do.

I would have included "They'll never believe me", by Jerome Kern, from "Oh, What a lovely war", it's on You Tube and very moving indeed, which is part of what music is about for me.

In fact to be really provocative I might have included "Nellie the elephant" and the "Bonanza" theme (I love old Westerns.... from the 50's and 60's, when cowboys shaved, washed and never swore!)

Us piano enthusiasts deserve a kick up the where-is-it occasionally for our stuffy narrow-mindedness!

Thanks for providing it.


Thank-you - appreciated! It was really the result of pondering the idea of 'greatest pieces' while getting rather cold in the garden. Actually, I regretted adding the Easter Hymn because after listening to a few versions of it to find one I liked the tune stuck in my head for days. If I did the list again it wouldn't be there, so perhaps a bit of Jerome Kern, Cole Porter or perhaps something like the Pink Panther would sneak in.
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