My Favourite Classical Music

Latest discoveries

Michael Nyman: Musique à Grande Vitesse, The Queen of the Night etc. Sometimes I like to listen to minimalistic music. The Queen of the Night recalls Finnish Suvivirsi hymn in my twisted mind.

Janáček: Sinfonietta
Charmingly positive music with distinctive mood that is not easy to describe. I was reading a book on Tove Jansson and the Moomin world when I listened this work first time. Mystical black-and-white drawings of Jansson and Sinfonietta have something in common.

9.7.2001

Adams: Nixon in China
Modern opera on Nixon's visit to China. Simple, but powerful music with a touch of humour. The last act is not as good as the first and second, but as a whole this is one of the best 20th century operas I have heard.
Shostakovitch: 24 Preludes and Fugues, op. 87
I listened this masterpiece very intensively for many days. These are my favourites with short descriptions.
 
  • Prelude and fugue no. 4
  • Prelude and fugue no. 5 (serene and beautiful, very positive music)
  • Prelude no. 8 (obsessive)
  • Prelude no. 15 (exaggerative and rcstless)
  • Shostakovitch: The Nose
    This is an incredible opera about a man who wakes up without a nose. The opera is based on Gogol's short story. I would describe the opera with the adjectives hysterical and absurd.

    In one of the unforgettable scenes barber's wife becomes hysterical and sounds like a frightened dog barking. I also loved the scene with the man mourning his nose -- he howled like a wolf. It is touching and beautiful, believe it or not.

    Festive music

    Modest Musorgski: Crowning scene from the opera Boris Godunov (Act I)
    Benjamin Britten: Fugue from 'A Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra' (the theme music of the Scandinavian classical music quiz programme 'Kontrapunkt')
    Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov: Procession of the Nobles from Mlada
    Leoš Janáček: Sinfonietta

    Powerful Music

    Peter Tchaikovsky: Incidental music to the Snow Maiden, op. 12
    Maurice Ravel: Final from Daphis et Chloet
    Modest Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition. I prefer the original piano version to the orchestrated version by Ravel. In my opinion, the best orchestration is made by Leo Funtek.
    Modest Mussorgsky: Khovanchina, orchestrated by Dmitri Shostakovitch

    The Gratest Symphonies

    Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony no. 9, especially the final
    Dmitri Shostakovitch: Symphony no. 7, "Leningrad"
    Antonin Dvorak: Symphony no. 9, 'From the New World', op. 96

    Witty Music

    Benjamin Britten: Albert Herring
    Antonin Dvorak: Symphony no. 8, op. 88
    Dmitri Shostakovitch: Symphony no. 9

    Fury

    Dmitri Shostakovitch: Symphony no. 10, second and fourth movement
    Giuseppe Verdi: Dies Irae from Requiem

    Gloomy Music

    Peter Tchaikovsky: Symphony no. 4 (particularly the Final)
    Peter Tchaikovsky : Mazeppa
    Peter Tchaikovsky : Francesca Da Rimini

    Mystic Music

    Peter Tchaikovsky : Manfred Symphony

    Organ Music

    Charles-Maria Widor: Sympony no. 6
    Charles-Maria Widor: Toccata from Symphony no. 5

    Touching Music

    Peter Tchaikovsky : The Sleeping Beauty
    Peter Tchaikovsky : Souvenir from Florence

    From the 20th Century

    Dmitri Shostakovitch : The Limpid Stream / The Bolt
    Dmitri Shostakovitch: Symphony no. 15
    Benjamin Britten: Prelude and Fugue
    Benjamin Britten: Welcome Ode

    Finnish Music

    Joonas Kokkonen: Viimeiset kiusaukset (The Last Temptations)

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    Written by Cristian Seres 1999-2001,2008