Da music, it go “doot ddot doo ting doopdidoo”, absolutely phenomenal. Truly remarkable.

WARNING: Boring music jargon ahead, like all of these guys are dead why would any1 care lole.

Headphones & AdBlock are highly recommended

Playlist

Click here for the non-classical playlist

Muh Fav - Warning: bury epik imo

Igor Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring

TL:DR: Dis aint ur average classical piece its super metal and about death and sex n stuff lol its cool and my favorite thing evar !!!

Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring is my favorite symphonic composition. I must’ve listened to the whole thing maybe 30 times since I discovered it a year and-a-half ago. It changed how I viewed music; the harmonies are something special that hasn’t been replicated in more recent pieces or albums since. The Rite of Spring is essentially about an ambiguous pagan society that sacrifices a virgin girl to the gods of spring in order to bring good omens to the survival of the tribe. Stravinsky imagined the idea of this piece during his composing of The Firebird, and only after the Firebird was completed did he begin to work on a piece that would alter the influence of atonality and polytonality in music. The piece premiered at the theater of Champs-Élysées in Paris, France in 1913 to an audience of French elites and french impressionist composers. From the very beginning of the introduction, uproar in the seats of the theater began to fester in response to what they were hearing and began to yell various comments in a state of confusion ridiculing and joking the music. By the time the Augurs of Spring began, things got out of control as the yelling drowned out the orchestra which interfered with the dancers’ ability to sync with the music on stage. The performance managed complete despite the audience reaction; contrary to popular belief, a riot did not break out during the premiere, there just isn’t evidence suggesting it’s validity. The piece was made too early; perhaps, it would be accepted after WWI, or if not then for sure after WWII when composers like Shostakovich and Penderecki were around. The piece is such an exploration of savagery, instincts and id. The complexity and variety of time signatures and rhythms is also a big aspect of the Rite of Spring’s distinct appeal. This excerpt from just before the coda is self-explanatory of the amount of time signature changes there are in here, but in this particular excerpt it's not as complex as it looks.

For those who are into metal or other related genres, this piece is for you.

Symphonies

Aram Khachaturian Symphony No.2 “The Bell”

I haven’t researched fully enough into the backstory of this piece, but I love the energetic dissonance and yearning melodic passages of Khachaturian’s work, and I believe this symphony perfectly defines his style. The composer is known mostly for his music for the ballet Gayaneh, specifically "Sabre Dance" & the “Dance of the Young Kurds”.

Dmitri Shostakovich Symphony No.5

Shostakovich’s symphonies are more intertwined with his life than any other composer in history. The story is of personal struggle and a struggle with society. Shostakovich began composing during the beginning decades of the Soviet Union, however as the government became more dictatorial in which media was acceptable and what was not, Shostakovich became involved. Under the rule of Joseph Stalin, the government began to silence and imprison agitators of social unrest and experimentalism (or at least art or music that was new or strange compared to decades earlier---i.e jazz, modern art, etc). Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk was the subject of an article in Pravda, a pro-soviet newspaper which criticized the opera for its “lack of morality” and overall musical dissonance. The article implied that if Shostakovich did not change, that he could be arrested by the KGB and face further punishment or death. At this point, Shostakovich cancelled his 4th Symphony (imo his most challenging yet), and began writing his fifth in order to gain the trust of critics and the government. His fifth symphony, on the surface, is a patriotic piece detailing the struggles and achievements of the Soviet cause, but subliminally is about Shostakovich’s misery of the restraint of his artistic expression, and of a false victory he was forced to write. Imo, the fifth is the best of his 15 symphonies.

Gustav Mahler Symphonies No.1 “Titan”, No.8 “Symphony of a Thousand”, No.9 and "Das Leid Von Der Erde"

Mahler’s symphonies are the peak of German romanticism in music, and these four I believe to be his best. No.1 details his childhood and of the town he grew up in; how he perceived the sights and sounds of his daily life. No.8 is a sonic landscape of musicality based off of the gregorian chant “Veni Creator Spiritus”. I think the ending to this symphony is the most beautiful ending to a piece of music I've heard. Following the 8th in order to escape the curse of the ninth, Mahler wrote Das Leid, a song cycle which is essentially a symphony. Afterwards, he wrote his ninth symphony and succumbed the curse and died before his 10th was finished.

Wynton Marsalis: Swing Symphony

A recent piece from the 2010s, technically this would belong in the jazz section but I decided to put it here anyways for now. Distinctly American with influences from multiple genres that make this symphony fresh and energetic. This video is of just Movement IV, the full playlist can be found here.

Olivier Messiaen: Turangalila Symphony

Messiaen’s Turangalila is kind of an enigma to describe, but is unique in its style in a way that is captivating to listen to. It features the Ondes Martinot, an early electronic instrument akin to the theremin, which is able to create these landscapes of sound that voice over any register.

Richard Strauss: Also Sprach Zarathurstra

A tone poem based off of Friedrich Nietzsche's poem of the same name; the Sonnenaufgang has been heard even by people who don't listen to classical music. However, the rest of the piece is just as powerful and is what I believe is Strauss' best work.

Einojuhani Rautavaara Symphony No.7

My favorite symphony of Rautavaara's, it is a work that seems to live of to the legacy of Sibelius' 7th Symphony in many ways; this piece has a beautiful third movement with yearning harmonies produced by the strings in the begining. To me, this piece is the pinnacle of post-modern classical music that reminds us of the legacy of earlier composers which still lives on in newer works, especially in the case of Rautavaara who was overshadowed legacy-wise in Finland by the musical titan that was Sibelius. I consider Rautavaara's work to be the last before the beginning of the contemporary period (199X - ) in which the vast majority of composers now are too young enough to have met the greats of the 20th Century.

Concertos

Wynton Marsalis Violin Concerto

A modern concerto composed 2-3 years ago. I think Marsalis' Violin Concerto will become a great repertoire piece for future violinists akin to Tchaikovsky and Sibelius’ violin concertos. Every bit of this piece is exploratory and it's my favorite concerto. This video is of just Movement I, the full playlist can be found here.

Bottesini Bass Concerto No.2

This piece is standard fare for professional double-bassists nowadays. Of the bass concertos out there, this one is my favorite.

Henryk Wieniawski Violin Concerto No.1

Another great violin concerto from a virtuosic composer; the 1st movement is a treat.

Einojuhani Rautavaara Piano Concerto No.3 “Gift of Dreams”

A modern concerto that feels like a hazy memory, nothing is clear but not unrecognizable.

Moritz Moszkowski Piano Concerto

The main theme to this is so lovely, that's all I gotta say.

Qigang Chen: Reflet d’un temps disparu

Another modern piece which incorporates unique extended techniques that add beautiful textures.

Sergei Rachmaninoff: Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini

A piano concerto based off of a piece originally written for violin, which allowed creative liberty with what types of passages and variations that were able to be written. Variation 18 contains an inversion of the original theme combined with a major feel and slow tempo; this variation is my favorite.

-----------------------------------------------------------

(Yellow - notes used in the inverted melody)

Opening theme of Paganini Caprice No. 24

Beginning of Variation 18

John Adams Violin Concerto

My favorite piece of John Adam's along with A Flowering Tree, this piece conjoins interesting harmonies with rhythms that take influence from minimalist composers. This piece also features synth and works really well in supporting the strings and percussion; my favorite movement in this concerto is the 3rd, one of my favorite fast movements in a violin concerto.

Leave