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What do you feel is the best piece of music ever written?

Discussion in 'classical' started by TheDecameron, Jun 13, 2017.

  1. Nic Robinson

    Nic Robinson Moderator

  2. Richard C.

    Richard C. pfm Member

    Not for me, I'm afraid.

    Bach does well with the development (as one would expect) but the Chaconne/Pasacaglia was a dated convention by his time and for me this piece is almost as dreary to hear as it is boring to play. Things pick up in the fugue but frankly, I include this with the Prelude, Adagio and Fugue as amongst Bach's lesser Orgelwerke.
  3. jon l

    jon l pfm Member

    Stravinsky Mass, here is the 3 minute Agnus Dei

    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 21, 2018
  4. eastone

    eastone pfm Member

  5. Nic Robinson

    Nic Robinson Moderator

    Is it lonely there? ;)
  6. mrkaramba

    mrkaramba pfm Member

    There is no such thing as best. Rather you should call it favourite. How you can compare baroque opera with modern piano concerto? :)

    Nevertheless, my favorites are:
    - Rachmaninoff 3rd piano concerto
    - Prokofiev's Cantata op 74
    - Brahms 2nd piano concerto
    - Busoni piano Concerto
    - Paderewski piano concerto
    - Single Pieces from Scriabin, Chopin, Rachmaninov, Debussy, Ravel
    - Goldberg Variations
  7. Jo Sharp

    Jo Sharp Pulls on doors marked push

    Tricky..top 3 in reverse order...all 'tear-jerkers'

    Schubert String Quintet in C major..

    Overture from Lohengrin..

    but the winner is this:


    So the St Matthew Passion wins.
  8. George J

    George J pfm Member

    Obviously it is impossible to pick the greatest single piece of music as such things cannot be decided on a vote based on opinion, but I do suspect that there may be an easier consensus on who was the greatest composer of all time [in the Western Tradition].

    Anyway, I nominate this as a great piece of music by the greatest of all composers.


    ATB from George
  9. Fulci

    Fulci pfm Member

    Prelude to Tristan uns Isolde
  10. k90tour

    k90tour pfm Member

    Mine may be a different answer next week, but for now:

    Stravinsky: Le Sacre du Printemps
    Beethoven: Piano Sonata Op 111
  11. rally

    rally pfm Member

  12. onlyconnect

    onlyconnect pfm Member

    You will never get consensus on anything.

    If you want to go beyond the usual "my favourite pieces" you could have a go at deciding on some criteria. Most acclaimed? Most acclaimed by experts (define too - critics? other musicians? academics?)? Most popular eg by number of performances, number of plays, sales? Or you could use all of these and then assign some weighting to each.

    It would still be unsatisfactory. After all, we only appreciate what we know so what about little-known works of great genius?

    Would be interesting to map by culture, geography, time, age profile etc as well.

    Could be a nice little bit of research there!

  13. George J

    George J pfm Member

    Dear Tim,

    Here is a thought for you. There is one composer, without whom, Beethoven would have been different, Mozart would have been different, Haydn would have been different, [Wagner probably the same], Bruckner and Brahms would have been “completely” different, the whole of the Atonal Movement would have been different and almost every popular genre except possibly the blues and most jazz would be different.

    Who he?

    JS Bach, who cemented the form of music irreversibly [and] ever since by his two fold genius to synthesise the style of the time, and previous eras in compositions of such transcendent genius that there is no risk that he will go out of fashion so long as there are humans with ears to listen.

    Just tuppence worth!

    ATB from George
  14. George J

    George J pfm Member

    Bach is, I would propose, be the most “influential” composer of all time, and not only because he had a brain the size of Newton or Einstein, but because his music is easy to enjoy for any person interested to try. There are some cases where it may be a little difficult at first, but with the right starting points one might well conclude that learning by heart his whole oeuvre might be time better spent than listening to any else!

    ATB from George
  15. mercalia

    mercalia pfm Member

    I dont know about best but at the moment enjoying the Decca double cd "The Silver Swan" English Madrigals selection from the many LPs the Consort of Musicke, Anthony Rooley with a young Emma Kirkby made in the 70s-80s( which I have ) A very aurally soothing (I dont mean soporific I mean caressing -how many cds can do that?) never ending collection of songs in English. I feel much better from listening to them. In this case songs from Gibbons, Wilbye & Morley

    Going further back Perotin/Leonin Organum the birth of polyphony in Europe. Goodness knows what church goers would make of this music if they heard it today. probably think it some modern concoction.

    The various writers of madrigals in italian in the renaissance.

    after this vocal music generally went downhill with the singer largely an extra with the orchestra playing any decent melody, the singer not pretending to "sing" any more. ( why I think opera, the pits, in general )
  16. George J

    George J pfm Member

    Mache dich, mein Herze, rein

    Walter Berry

    No question!


    However he did it ever nicer in the 1959 recording under Mogens Woldike, which not surprisingly has never been on youtube. You would need to buy the CDs to get that close to reality. Woldike is not famous outside Denmark, but Vienna welcomed him like a hero since 1945. Try Vanguard for a fairly budget CD release ...

  17. Rk19

    Rk19 pfm Member

    Mozart. Le Nozze di Figaro
  18. HairyHaggis

    HairyHaggis <((((º>`•.¸¸.•´¯`•.¸.•´¯`•...¸><((((º>¸.

  19. narabdela

    narabdela who?

    Two very left field and interesting choices. :)

    Good thinking Batman!
  20. Whaleblue

    Whaleblue The Mighty Deoxitiser

    Tim, I think we’d all agree with you there.
    davcoll and Stunsworth like this.

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