These lists are just so boring, made up by people with little else to do but bore. Well done, you can count to fifty.
Your list is a good starting point for discussion Ian. It made me think what would be on mine anyway. But I suppose it was inevitable that it would attract from the usual suspects both condescending snobbery on the one hand and snide cynicism on the other. Just a fact of life here, I'm afraid.
C'mon then Vic, let's have your list. Remember you must include one from each catergory of music. You wouldn't want to discriminate now would you.
I'm leavin', on a jet planeDon't know when I'll be back again...
Sorry I was just listening to Parla singing his top 50 pop songs!
On a more serious note, dismissing Ian's idea isn't exactly going to encourage a relatively new member to the forum.
There are some other favourites of mine in I'd have to add Ian - Mussorgsky's Pictures At an Exhibition is a piece I never tire of hearing. Holst's The Planets in your list likewise, and Beethoven's Pastoral too I am in agreement with. (People seem to me to opt generally for Beethoven's Eroica or perhaps the 5th as his best symphonic works.
Personal lists seem fine to me, Ian, because they allow you to clarify your own preferences.
(Madcap Hugh actually has a reasonable point in that, hopefully, over time, your list might change, an idea echoed by Petra).
There has been an argument in the past on the forum over top ten lists in the magazine itself, but that's a different context. Some see such lists as innocent fun, and some don't like them due to obvious comparisons with commercial pop charts (though I have to admit that I grew up liking those!)
Sadly we lost a regular contributor in that debate in the form of Dubrob, who felt strongly against top tens in the magazine.
So hoping we don't lose you as from your list it is clear that you are a serious music lover.
As I read through my list there are clearly some that I have missed out, and perhaps if I do one for next year it will change again. I've missed out some Mozart I like, as well as some Handel especially his Messiah. Another piece is 'A Night on Bare Mountain,' a really positive piece. I have also missed out Rossini. And there are individual artists that are inspiring, Nigel Kennedy, James Galway, Julia Fischer, Jacqueline du Pre, and Richard Meryck, to name a few. My number one 'The Lark Ascending,' will never change, it has inspired me and comforted me.
A painter paints pictures on canvas. But musicians paint their pictures on silence. ~Leopold Stokowski.
Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life. ~Berthold Auerbach.
Music is the poetry of the air. ~Richter.
We will all look forward to next years list. Perhaps you will have actually listened to all of Wagners Ring cycle the next time you include it in your top 50 and it may have moved up your list. Of course you could always do a top 49 and just include pieces you have bothered to listen to until the end.
These lists are a bit like the book "1000 Classical Recordings You Must Hear Before You Die"; great when one agrees with the contributors' choice; rubbish when they pick a recording one doesn't like.
I always thought one of the best lists was that chosen and voted on by Gramophone readers themselves as their own great recordings of the century, at the millenium; much more reliable than critics' choices! I've tried several times to try and find it on the Archive to refresh my memory but nothing I put in brings it up. (Solti's Ring was of course top choice).
By all means, these lists are subjective. This is not the issue. What matters is that these lists distract instead of helping focusing on the variety and multi-faceted nature and value of the Classical Music works.
I don't suggest Ian has to listen specific musical works, but rather to focus on listening as much as he can, expanding his knowledge and cultivating his criteria of appreciating more Classical Music genres and more works by different composers.
In this way, he may find out that the Classical Music is so vast and so varied that it's practically impossible to encompass it in any formal list and much more in any sort of classification.
P.S.: Incidentally, I'm leaving tomorrow. It doesn't mean, I'll vanish from the forum for long time.
Pity, so you will read this when you get back.
Why is it those so against lists have so much to say on the subject.
I could make a list of their objections (yawn, yawn) but instead, taking up some of the suggestions made by the more interesting posters I challenge you all to guess where Ermione was, or is, on my list of Top 50 and what year?
Here's a clue: it was/is in my top ten.
Makes more sense having a list of fifty then the desert island eight,and reading it a interesting and harmless pursuit.
I found this particular list quite surprising and says I think , something about the author.I do not mean this as a back handed compliment Ian,but you are definitely not a musical snob.
Selections 1,2,3,will be on a lot of lists.Having the Beethoven and Mozart fourth (also my favorite) violin concertos thirty odd places below 5,6,7,8,9, is to me bizarre.
If I put my top fifty,something I have no intention of doing,I dare say plenty on this forum would find my selections odd.
I see that you are a Vaughan Williams fan. Do you also enjoy his symphonies? And I love his "Lark" too (as do many people). One piece of music of his which I find always puts me in a good mood is his "English Folk Song Suite". And you?
If you mean 'Ian..... you are a classical chav.' just say it, get to the point.
The trouble with lists is that tomorrows list might well be different to todays. 50 works isn't many either! It's mostly this why I don't compile lists. I'm glad I haven't got to prune the old record collection down to 50 discs, it's hard enough picking works for the mp3 player.
Anyway, thank you Ian for sharing your list, it's always good to see other people's ideas and tastes. Don't let your lists fossilise your taste (another reason for not making one).
The English Folksong Suite never fails to bring a smile to my face.
Especially Seventeen Come Sunday. Brilliant.
Traditionally I only post to the forum when there has been a question
or concern raised about the services and products we are offering but I have
chosen to make an exception today in this case.
First of all, I wanted to thank Ian for taking the time to put together
his top 50 list and sharing it on our website. This is one of the many different
uses of the forum that I am always pleased to see and, while I recognise that
this is not how everyone enjoys discussing classical music, I would please ask
that you respect that other people's right to discuss and share ideas without
always having to defend the validity of the exercise.
If lists aren't your thing then you do not have to engage in the
thread - but we would ask that you respect the right of others to hold a
discussion that they find interesting.
Please remember this forum is there to let people share their
ENJOYMENT for classical music.
Luca Da Re
Brand Manager, Gramophone
So are you saying 'No dissenting voices' Luca. There is another thread asking the question 'Is Gramophone getting bland?' as the 'Brand manager' would you only like us to comment 'No it's fantastic, I love it so much, you really must read it'.