I have always had two ways of listening; one is just to pop a CD in and listen, while the other has been to try and put together 'personal concerts'. The later came out of first making cassette tapes for my walkman and today it is playlists for my ipod.
I was reminded of this by the new Liszt double CD on DG from Pierre-Laurent Aimard, which I think is a recording of his recent recital programme. I have to admit I really live these types of recordings, where the artist decides to present a mixed programme that allows juxtapositions and contrasts between composers and their works. Chailly's current Beethoven cycle (on the road at least) has five works by contemporary composers mixed with Beethoven - all new commissions.
So, in a spirit of debate and discussions exclusively about music, I would like to propose a challenge to any interested; what concert programme would you divise for a named particular work. Each week we will name one work that is essential to the programme. You mission, should you choose to accept, is to choose the other works to go with it, in such a way that it would be a programme you would travel 2 hours to hear - that for me is the definition of an interesting concert!
It will be more interesting if you can give some brief explanation for your choice of works, perhaps even the order they would be played. There are of course no right answers!
To get us started here is the first challenge:
build a concert programme around the Schubert 'Unifinished' Symphony.