Help! Need Suggestions for Building a Classical Library!

cd_allegri_misere.jpgWe recently got an email from a Ron in Stanley, NC who was looking for a list we used to offer suggesting music selections for beginning classical listeners. I could vaguely remember the list, but I couldn’t find one anywhere in the files here at the station. I also remember at one point offering suggestions for building a classical library. These were/are great resources that are seemingly as lost as Atlantis at this moment.
But good news! Instead of spending precious time rummaging in dusty boxes and cabinets, we got the bright idea to use this great 21st century invention called the blog to recreate the list of classical “must haves” using the expertise of the collective WDAV community. So, I’ll start. I think everyone should hear/own Gregorio Allegri’s Misere, a truly miraculous work, and I’d recommend the version done by the Tallis Scholars on the Gimell label some 25 years ago. Click here to read more and purchase.
Ok, that’s my suggestion. What’s yours?

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11 Responses to Help! Need Suggestions for Building a Classical Library!

  1. Lisa says:

    I love the Berlin Philharmonic’s production of Orff’s Carmina Burana. Sure, it goes a mile-a-minute, but the soloists are top-notch and the chorus is downright thunderous.

  2. Don’t get me started! Perhaps I should share one at a time?
    Essential on my shelf at home are the six Bach Solo Cello Suites. I like Steven Isserlis’ new recording; Anner Bylsma’s recording is a favorite, too. For me, nothing clears the air, mind and spirit better than these suites.

  3. Ted Weiner says:

    The James Galway-Marisa Robles-Eduardo Mata recording of Mozart’s Flute & Harp Concerto seems to carry the deepest-felt passion for me than all of the other recordings Galway-Robles have made, or any other flute and harp duos have made of this masterpiece.

  4. Here’s a useful link:
    http://www.classicalcdguide.com/
    Top 10 classical pieces, composers, cds, etc. are listed there.

  5. Jesper Staun Hansen says:

    If its the “CD starter kit” link WDAV provided years ago, then its still available on some pages. I’ll just post it here:
    Rich, lush, orchestral
    * Beethoven: Leonore Overtures (1-3); Egmont Overture Symphonies
    * Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique
    * Brahms: Symphonies; Piano Concerto #2 in Bb
    * Dvorak: Symphonies, especially #9, “New World”
    * Grieg: Peer Gynt Suites; Norwegian Dances
    * Lalo: Symphonie Espagnol
    * Mendelssohn: Hebrides Overture
    Calm Sea and Proserous Voyage: Symphonies
    * Rachmaninoff:Piano Concerto #2
    Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini
    * Rodrigo: Concierto de Aranjuez (for Guitar and Orchestra)
    * Schubert: Symphonies
    * R. Strauss: Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks
    * Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake Ballet Suite
    Sleeping Beauty Ballet Suite
    Serenade for Strings in C
    Symphonies (especially #6, “Pathetique”)
    * Wagner: Orchestral Highlights from Operas
    Serene, idyllic, impressionistic
    * Copland: Our Town; Quiet City
    * Debussy: Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun; Nocturnes
    * Delius: On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring
    * Faure: Sicilenne from Pelleas and Melesande
    * Vaughan-Williams: Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis
    The Lark Ascending (for violin and orchestra)
    Descriptive, picturesque, tells a story
    * Beethoven: Symphnoy #6, “Pastoral”
    * Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique
    * Dukas: The Sorcerer’s Apprentice
    * Grieg: Peer Gynt Suites
    * Grofe: Grand Canyon Suite
    * Holst: The Planets
    * Kodaly: Hary Janos Suite
    * Mendelssohn: Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage
    Hebrides Overture
    * Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition
    * Prokofiev: Peter and the Wolf
    Lt. Kije Suite
    * rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade
    * Saint-Saens: Carnival of the Animals
    * Weber: Invitation to the Dance
    Lively, upbeat, invigorating
    * Borodin: Polovtsian Dances from Prince Igor
    * Brahms: Hungarian Dances
    * Copland: El Salon Mexico
    Danzon Cubano
    * Falla: Ritual Fire Dance from El Amor Brujo
    * Liszt: Hungarian Rhapsodies
    * Offenbach: Orpheus in the Underworld (Overture)
    * Prokofiev: Lt. Kije Suite
    * Shostakovich: Festive Overture
    * J. Strauss Jr.: Waltzes
    Show stoppers, ochrestral fireworks
    * Beethoven: Leonore Overtures
    Symphony #9, “Choral”
    * Bizet: Carmen Suites
    L’Arlesienne Suites
    * Borodin: Polovtsian Dances from Prince Igor
    * Delibes: Ballet Music from Coppelia
    * Falla: Ritual Fire Dance from El Amor Brujo
    * Lalo: Symphonie Espagnol
    * Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue (for piano and orchestra)
    * Gounod: Ballet Music from Faust
    * Rossini: William Tell Overture
    * Tchaikovsky: March Slav
    1812 Overture
    * Wagner: Ride of the Valkyries
    * Verdi: Triumphal March from Aida
    Diabolically difficult, virtuosic
    * Chopin: Minute Waltz
    * Liszt: Hungarian Rhapsodies (especially #2 in d)
    * Paganini: Violin Concerto #2 in b
    * Rimsky-Korsakov: flight of the Bumblebee
    Elegant, regal, stylized
    * Bach: Brandenburg Concertos (1-6)
    Orchestral Suites (1-4)
    * Clarke: Prince of Denmark’s March
    * Handel: Music for the Royal Fireworks
    Water Music Suites
    * Mouret: Randeau (Masterpiece Theater Therne)
    * Pachelbel: Canon in D
    * Vivaldi: Concerto in G for 2 Mandolins
    Concerto for Guitar in D
    Concerto for Mandolin in C
    The Four Seasons
    Introspective, far-reaching, thoughtful
    * Brahms: Intermezzos for Solo Piano
    * Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 in d, “Choral”
    * Copland: Fanfare for the Common Man
    * Dvorak: Symphony No. 9, “From the New World”
    * Gorecki: Symphony No. 3, “Symphony of Sorrowful Songs”
    * Mahler: Symphonies
    * Shostakovich: Symphonies
    * Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6 in b, “Pathetique”
    Just plain beautiful
    * Bach/Gounod: Ave Maria
    * Barber: Adagio for Strings
    * Faure: Pavanne
    * Mascagni: Intermezzo from Cavaleria Rusticana
    * Offenbach: Barcarolle from The Tales of Hoffman
    * Puccini: Highlights from Operas
    * Rachmaninoff: Vocalise
    * Rodrigo: Concierto de Aranjuez (guitar and orchestra)
    * Vaughan-Williams: Fantasia on Greensleeves
    Mozart hits
    * Eine Kleine Nachtmusik (A Little Night Music)
    * The Marriage of Figaro (Overture and Opera)
    * The Magic Flute (Overture and Opera)
    * Symphony No. 35 in D, “Haffner”
    * Symphony No. 41 in C, “Jupiter”
    * Flute and Harp concerto in C
    * Piano Concerto No. 21 in C, “Elvira Madigan”
    * Violin Concerto No. 3 in G
    * Violin Concerto No. 5 in A
    * Flute Quarter No. 1
    * Clarinet Concerto in A
    * Requiem
    Choral masterpieces
    * Allegri: Miserere
    * Bach: St. Matthew Passion; Mass in B Minor
    * Faure: Requiem
    * Handel: Messiah
    * Haydn: The Creation
    * Mendelssohn: Elijah
    * Mozart: Requiem
    * Orff: Carmina Burana
    * Poulenc: Gloria
    * Rachmaninoff: Vespers, or All Night Vigil
    * Verdi: Requiem; Four Sacred Pieces
    * Vivaldi: Gloria
    I only hope this stays as readable as I see it here when posted.

  6. Wow. Thanks, Jesper! This list seems oddly familiar–I think I may have compiled it (with the help of a couple of other WDAV “old-timers” back in the early 1990s. Funny, I still agree with most of my suggestions!

  7. Jesper Staun Hansen says:

    Missed one part:
    Light-hearted, Bright, Maybe Even Humorous
    * Gershwin: American in Paris
    * Grieg: Wedding Day at Troldhaugen (from Lyric Pieces)
    * Lehar: Merry Widow Waltz
    * Ponchielli: Dance of the Hours from La Gioconda
    * Rossini: Opera Overtures
    * Saint-Saens: Carnival of the Animals
    * J. Strauss Jr. Beautiful Blue Danube and other Waltzes
    * Waldteufel: Skaters’ Waltz, other waltzes

  8. Frank Dominguez says:

    That list should sound familiar, Jennifer: you put it together during one of your previous stints at the station. I’m so glad Jesper hung on to it better than we did!
    Here are some selections I’d add:
    Vivaldi: The Four Seasons Concertos
    Vivaldi: Concerto in D for Two Trumpets and Strings
    Beethoven: “Moonlight” Piano Sonata
    Beethoven: “Emperor” Piano Concerto
    Schubert: “Trout” Quintet
    Mendelssohn: Overture to a Midsummer Night’s Drean and Incidental Music
    Chopin: Mazurkas
    Chopin: Preludes
    Chopin: Nocturnes
    Dvorak: “American” Quartet
    Tchaikovsky: 1812 Overture
    Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No. 1
    Grieg: Piano Concerto
    Ravel: Pavane for a Dead Princess
    Ravel: Alborada del gracioso
    Vaughan Williams: Serenade to Music
    Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue
    Rodrigo: Fantasy for a Gentlemen
    Rodrigo: Concierto Andaluz
    Copland: Appalachian Spring
    Bernstein: “West Side Story” (yes, the whole musical)
    Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring
    Stravinsky: Pulcinella Suite

  9. C.Philip Gamble says:

    You should include The Beethoven Septet for woodwinds, which is being played at St. Pete’s Episcopal on 9/2, a work that was as poopular in his own day as it is today. Everyone should have a recording of the Beethoven Symphony No. 3..”The theme song of the human race.” Get to know the Schubert Piano Impromtu No. 3 in G-flat..It has all eternity, a does the Mozart, “Ave Verum Corpus.” The “Meditation from Massenet’s “Thais” is worth his life. Wagner has put everything into the Prelude to Act I of “Lohengrin;” after hearing it the opera is almost an anti-climax.

  10. Aunt Sally says:

    These lists are great!!!
    I especially love Vivaldi’s
    Four Seasons, the Hebrides
    Overture, and anything done by James Galway.
    Don’t be shy about getting
    names from the WDAV website
    when you hear something you like. I also was helped when I joined the classical buy a CD club you get in the mail and purchased something that appealed to me in the write up. I always liked what I picked out that way!!

  11. Steven Grady says:

    I especially enjoy J.S. Bach – my very favorite is the incredible and yet unique “Toccato and Fugue in D Minor” – breath takingly magnificent on a majestic pipe organ being played by the renowned Virgil Fox!

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