What Classical are you spinning?

You pretty much nailed them for me as well. A special place for Vaughn Williams as a personal favorite more than for compositional chops. I’d add to your list Bartok, George Crumb, Webern, Berg and Steve Reich. Possibly Edgar Varese. My wife added Gershwin and Copland. As you can see I have difficulty limiting them. I must admit I do receive some of my most musical satisfaction from classical pieces. As much as I like jazz. Classical just moves me.

I suppose I just like music. As Duke Ellington has been attributed with the phrase:

There are simply two kinds of music, good music and the other kind … the only yardstick by which the result should be judged is simply that of how it sounds. If it sounds good it’s successful; if it doesn’t it has failed.

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I also greatly enjoy Vaughn Williams.

Definitely Bartok, although all you mention are significant.

The richness and variety are mind-boggling. We are spoiled.


Spoiled, yes and fortunate as well.


This is the top 15 ranking in Phil Goulding’s nice book about classical music: Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Wagner, Haydn, Brahms, Schubert, Schumann, Handel, Tchaikovsky, Mendelssohn, Dvorak, Liszt, Chopin, Stravinsky.
He then goes on with a top 50.

That’s also my list, but I would rank Schubert in the top 5 and Chopin at least top 10.

The nice thing about his book is that he offers for each composer a « starter kit » of 5 works, then a top 10, then a master collection.

A very nice book, highly recommended.

Prokofiev, Shostakovich and Philip Glass top of my list.

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Your glass is only half-full methinks.

For me it would have to be (in no particular order) Beethoven, Mozart, Mendelssohn, Prokofiev and Tchaikovsky. Not sure what that says about me, other than I enjoy melody. :wink:

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I have not read Mr. Goulding’s book, but I know him to have been a fascinating man.

I enjoy occasional bits of Chopin, but do not think of him as significant or influential other than to have expanded the perceived capabilities of the piano.

Would you also include Dvorak in your group of favored composers?

Yes indeed, I vacillated on Glass, but second thought I’d have to agree. Top five or even ten, hard to say, I look at my collection and It would inform me that I do indeed enjoy Philip Glass.

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I assume this is the book referred to?
A copy is on its way. Thank-you for mentioning it.


You need to rethink Chopin. Jedi mind trick.

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I enjoy Dvorak, definitely, but like many of the other composers I enjoy, he falls outside my personal top five, probably because I haven’t explored his work much beyond his 9th symphony and his cello concerto. He’s certainly not short on melody, just exposure (to me).

And by naming a top five, I don’t mean to give any of the others, including Dvorak, short shrift - there’s not a huge gap between these five and #6, or any of the other composers in my collection, for that matter.

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Make perfect sense.

Yes that’s the one. Very welcome.

Energetic music and exceptional sound quality!
I will try to remember the tonmeister Michael,Silberhorn.

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How about living composers?

In no particular order:
John Adams
Magnus Lindberg
Sofia Gubaidulina
George Crumb
Unsuk Chin
Harrison Birtwistle
Pascal Dusapin
John Corigliano
Caroline Shaw
Tan Dun
Kaija Saariaho
Steve Reich
Jennifer Higdon


A good list, certainly. I particularly enjoy Caroline Shaw and Jennifer Higdon, both of whom I have also seen in concert.

Two composers who are not chart toppers, but who have made interesting musical contributions; setting new paths for others to follow.

Terry Riley
Krzysztof Penderecki