Greatest Musical Works of All Time (Updates In-Progress...)

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Tags: 
  1. 9.5/10
  2. Symphony #9 in D Major-Mahler (1910)
  3. Symphony #9 in D Minor "Choral"-Beethoven (1824)
  4. The Black Saint & The Sinner Lady-Charles Mingus (1963)
  5. Trout Mask Replica-Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band (1969)
  6. Requiem-Verdi (1874)
  7. A Symphony of Three Orchestras-Carter (1976)
  8. Rock Bottom-Robert Wyatt (1974)
  9. A Love Supreme-John Coltrane (1964)
  10. Tabula Rasa-Part (1977)
  11. Unit Structures-Cecil Taylor (1966)
  12. Faust-Faust (1971)
  13. Ostrobothnian Symphony-Balakauskas (1989)
  14. Symphony #15 in A Major-Shostakovich (1971)

  15. 9/10
  16. Symphonie Fantastique-Berlioz (1830)
  17. The Velvet Underground & Nico-The Velvet Underground (1967)
  18. Saxophone Improvisations, Series F-Anthony Braxton (1972)
  19. The Doors-The Doors (1967)
  20. Ascension-John Coltrane (1965)
  21. Symphony #3 in F Major-Brahms (1883)
  22. Glagolitic Mass-Janacek (1926)
  23. The Modern Dance-Pere Ubu (1978)
  24. Escalator Over The Hill-Carla Bley (1971)
  25. Twin Infinitives-Royal Trux (1990)
  26. Seeds, Visions & Counterpoint-Ivo Perelman (1996)
  27. Rite of Spring-Stravinsky (1913)
  28. Symphony #4 in E Minor-Brahms (1885)
  29. Lorca-Tim Buckley (1970)
  30. Spiritual Unity-Albert Ayler (1964)
  31. Symphony #5 in C Minor-Beethoven (1808)
  32. The Jazz Composer's Orchestra-Michael Mantler (1968)
  33. Parable of Arable Land-Red Crayola (1967)
  34. Litanies of Satan-Diamanda Galas (1982)
  35. Symphony #9 in E Minor "From The New World"-Dvorak (1893)
  36. Fare Forward Voyagers-John Fahey (1973)
  37. Quatuor Pour La Fin Du Temps-Messiaen (1940)
  38. Hosianna Mantra-Popol Vuh (1973)
  39. Requiem-Mozart (1791)
  40. Desertshore-Nico (1970)
  41. For Alto-Anthony Braxton (1968)
  42. Symphony #6 in B Minor "Pathetique"-Tchaikovsky (1893)
  43. Irrlicht-Klaus Schulze (1972)
  44. Atlantis-Sun Ra (1967)
  45. A Rainbow In Curved Air-Terry Riley (1968)
  46. The Survivors' Suite-Keith Jarrett (1976)
  47. Dolmen Music-Meredith Monk (1981)
  48. Concerto for Orchestra-Bartok (1943)
  49. Mu-Don Cherry (1969)
  50. Streams-Sam Rivers (1976)
  51. Improvisie-Paul Bley (1970)
  52. Geek the Girl-Lisa Germano (1994)
  53. Bitches Brew-Miles Davis (1969)
  54. Blonde On Blonde-Bob Dylan (1966)
  55. Neu!-Neu! (1972)
  56. Violin Partita #2 in D Minor-J.S. Bach (1723)
  57. Suicide-Suicide (1977)
  58. Astral Weeks-Van Morrison (1968)
  59. Y-The Pop Group (1979)
  60. Free Jazz-Ornette Coleman (1960)
  61. Nail-Foetus (1985)
  62. Symphony #1 in C Minor-Brahms (1876)
  63. Lullaby Land-Vampire Rodents (1993)
  64. Symphony #5 in E Minor-Tchaikovsky (1888)
  65. Even the Sounds Shine-Myra Melford (1994)
  66. Not Available-Residents (1974)
  67. Symphony #7 in A Major-Beethoven (1812)
  68. Epitaph-Charles Mingus (1962)
  69. Well Oiled-Hash Jar Tempo (1997)
  70. The Magic City-Sun Ra (1965)
  71. Cobra-John Zorn (1981)
  72. Third-Soft Machine (1970)
  73. Slow, Deep & Hard-Type O Negative (1991)
  74. Cantos I-IV-Franz Koglmann (1992)
  75. Symphony #41 "Jupiter" in C Major-Mozart (1788)
  76. Uncle Meat-Frank Zappa (1969)
  77. A Genuine Tong Funeral-Carla Bley/Gary Burton (1967)
  78. Out To Lunch-Eric Dolphy (1964)
  79. Yerself Is Steam-Mercury Rev (1991)
  80. Piano Sonata #29 "Hammerklavier"-Beethoven (1818)
  81. Sound-Roscoe Mitchell (1966)
  82. Spiderland-Slint (1991)
  83. White Light/White Heat-The Velvet Underground (1967)
  84. Zen Arcade-Husker Du (1984)
  85. Kick Out The Jams-MC5 (1969)
  86. Karma-Pharoah Sanders (1969)

  87. CURRENTLY UNDER REVIEW:
  88. Toccata & Fugue in D Minor-J.S. Bach (1707)
  89. Mass in B Minor-J.S. Bach (1749)
  90. String Quartet in B flat major "Grosse Fuge"-Beethoven (1826)
  91. Repons-Boulez (1984)
  92. Symphony #2 in D Major-Brahms (1877)
  93. Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima-Penderecki (1960)
  94. Symphony #9 in C Major "The Great"-Schubert (1828)
  95. Gesang der Junglinge-Karlheinz Stockhausen (1956)
  96. Tristan und Isolde-Wagner (1859)

  97. 8.5/10 (To be ranked and made into a separate list later)
  98. Symphony #3 in E-flat Major "Eroica"-Beethoven (1804)
  99. Piano Sonata #23 in F Minor "Appassionata"-Beethoven (1805)
  100. Violin Concerto in D Minor-Beethoven (1806)
  101. Violin Concerto in D Major-Brahms (1878)
  102. Symphony #8 in B Minor "Unfinished"-Schubert (1822)

  103. 8/10 (To be ranked and made into a separate list later)
  104. Violin Concerto #2-Bartok (1938)
  105. Piano Sonata #14 in C Minor "Moonlight"-Beethoven (1801)
  106. String Quartet #14 in C Minor-Beethoven (1826)
  107. Piano Concerto #20 in D Minor-Mozart (1785)
  108. Piano Concerto #21 in C-Mozart (1785)

  109. 7.5/10 (To be ranked and made into a separate list later)
  110. Piano Concerto #1 in D Minor-Brahms (1858)
  111. Symphony #40 in G Minor-Mozart (1788)

Nice list! I'm excited to see how this all ends up.

BTW, do you have soulseek?

I don't have soulseek, I probably should though...

Yea, I was just wondering because if you did it would be a lot easier to find some of the stuff on and off this list. Especially classical, which is really a bitch to find on the internet while knowing what kind of recording you're getting.

I actually purchase all my albums on CD. I use Amazon or some other internet source to order them, and I also use a great store in my area called Everyday Music. They usually have or can get what I'm looking for unless it's ultra-rare/out of print such as Descent into the Maelstrom. To find the best recordings of classical I usually use the Penguin Guide.

now i LOVE this list, only because you added Beethoven's 5th to the top. that is probably my favorite classical piece, or maybe The Rite (Coronation) of Spring. I do not listen to much classical, and i am not that impressed with Beethoven's 9th, but the 5th i have always loved. i listened to "Eroica" today and thought it was "exceptional" but not at the same level as the 5th or even Mahler's 9th if i remember correctly, its been a while, and i only listened to it once, but i think you are going to prove to be pretty accurate that it is among the top: maybe top 20 or so. i have Tabula Rasa on hold at the library, i hope you are right about that as well...

Oddly enough I have yet to hear the entirety of Rite of Spring, but it is one the next works I'll be acquiring so I am sure you'll see it on here soon.

Just finished listening to Beethoven's 3rd as I was reading this. Definitely, definitely among the greatest symphonies ever, and a no brainer for a 9.5/10 rating imo. Highly recommended that you continue on with it. Hopefully you fall even more in love than I have with it. I go back and forth between it and the 5th--they're close, but Mahler's 9th is significantly superior, to not only the "Eroica" but virtually everything else as well. Tabula Rasa is heart-poundingly visceral and heartbreaking in the span of about 25 minutes. An incredible work. Let me know what you think.

Listening to Bach's Mass in B Minor right now, for the first time in a year or so. Wow.

Um. What the fuck. Rite of Spring is like the Best. Thing. Evar.

Ugh. I can't even imagine trying to make a list like this. Classical is too diverse. It's hard enough to compare Doors to It Takes A Nation Of Millions to Bricolage. I don't want to think about comparing Se La Face Ay Pale to The Rite of Spring to Licht. Good luck.

And then there's the whole problem of different recordings and performance styles and conductors. How the heck could you judge a game piece by John Zorn?

Um. What the fuck. Rite of Spring is like the Best. Thing. Evar.

Even better than Revolver?

Ugh. I can't even imagine trying to make a list like this. Classical is too diverse. It's hard enough to compare Doors to It Takes A Nation Of Millions to Bricolage. I don't want to think about comparing Se La Face Ay Pale to The Rite of Spring to Licht. Good luck.

It is very difficult. More so than I imagined. Comparing symphonies is especially a bitch (all of them being under virtually the same format) and most of them being "epic" and emotional to a similar intensity.

And then there's the whole problem of different recordings and performance styles and conductors. How the heck could you judge a game piece by John Zorn?

I try to stick with the recording(s) that most epitomize the composers intentions. Most of the best ones aren't varying enough to affect the rating up or down from any other.

But gawd this is tough. Every day I get a bunch of shake ups, but I think I'm settling in here. The more I listen and compare, the more I learn about what it is to be a 9.5 in all walks of music. Also, it's a wierd phenomena but I went and listened to TMR, Faust, Rock Bottom and Black Saint this past weekend just after devouring a few days of classical, and those albums seemed even more extraordinary. I think it has something to do with the details, textures and compositional changes, and the overall beauty and wonder of music that classical asks the listener to connect with--I noticed myself hearing more in TMR, Faust, Rock Bottom, Black Saint, than I usually do. It's very rewarding to be experiencing all this music at once, which is the very realization that drove me to pick up this list again.

Big blocks of bold text are hard to read. Maybe try something else, like <span class="gray">.

In a perfect world, the perfect art critic could spend 10 years studying art theory and music theory, without ever being exposed to a canon. Then, he or she would listen to the entire history of music - perhaps 10 major works per year during the medieval period and working up to 1000 major works per year in the 21st century. Along the way, he or she would list the most impressive works, and then write a retrospective of his or her journey.

May I respectfully yet forcefully disagree?

Studying art theory for a decade before exposure is a classic case of the tail wagging the dog.

If you are aiming to criticize intelligently, the first step should not be indoctrination in other peoples' theories about what makes great art. That is a great method to discipleship, not independent thought.

Perhaps the only first principle you need is simple - great art works. Once you get that idea (and it isn't tough), you can start asking how, why, etc. If you have a decent noggin, you're likely to get some interesting answers.

View/hear/read all the art you can, and ask questions. For my money, that's the path to great art criticism.

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

May I respectfully yet forcefully disagree?

Please do. Golly, that's my favorite thing.

Studying art theory for a decade before exposure is a classic case of the tail wagging the dog.

Could be. I'd still love to see a real-life product of my thought experiment.

In my little utopia, one's education would not be an indoctrination, but rather a training in how to think and the possibilities of thought.

Great art does indeed work, but I couldn't stick with that. Funny Games U.S. had me riveted to my seat; something few masterpieces have done. But I think that has much to do with my personal, inner experience and mood. I think great art has more important qualities than how well it manages my mood. If not, then I hereby proclaim Monty Python and the Holy Grail and a few episodes of Family Guy as the greatest pieces of moving image art ever created.

I think great art has more important qualities than how well it manages my mood. If not, then I hereby proclaim Monty Python and the Holy Grail and a few episodes of Family Guy as the greatest pieces of moving image art ever created.

why not? i think you need to stop building that ivory tower or whatever it is and enjoy art how you want to enjoy it, not how you think it should be enjoyed. if you would rather watch Holy Grail than why would that not be above Persona, or at least near it. i truly do not understand anyone's position like this: there is some objectivity to "great" art and I WILL find it. what about all those others who try that, are they wrong?

This is all my personal art philosophy. I think there is such a thing as good art, and that it is different from good entertainment (though the two may overlap).

But I cannot say that Ebert is "wrong" about Into the Wild being a great movie, except by my own criteria.

What about everyone else who tries to objectively judge art? Am I right and they wrong?

Yes.

And vice versa.

Even if we all had the same criteria, we would have wildly different conclusions. Because we are imperfect. We are persuaded by bandwagons, branding, nostalgia, personal experience, personal knowledge, mood, distractions. We are probably persuaded by things we don't even know exist.

My video game criticism benefits from virtually no effect of branding or bandwagon, because I'm unaware of other people criticizing games as art. But I have much more knowledge of rock music and film.

The only way to tell who is thinking most clearly about a piece of art is to talk (write) about it. Argument and counterargument.

(Which, by the way, should only be done for fun, because arguing about art has no other use.)

that essay has a nice sentiment but it lacks resolution. good art exists because it can and better things come from the hope of goodness than the despair of nothing. (not a quote of any sort) i want there to be good art; i want to be able to point to a piece of artwork whether it be the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, a blank canvas, or Roberto Matta's "Elinonde" but i do not feel that i can. i can however say that i like "Elinonde" and van Gogh's "Undergrowth with Two Figures" but i do not know how to describe its goodness with universal truth or even personal truth: just, i like them. whenever i start that quest i feel i am gargling about "dancing about architecture." if you can nail it down to something more than a Descartes dreamscape i would love to here it. just know, i do like to dance, mostly because i would probably break my leg again if i did.

i get the fun part about art, just not the suit and tie part. i guess i am disillusioned by "masterpieces" of art such as Pure Electric Honey having almost ZERO FUCKING support and for people to say that there is truth out there in art. critics had to have heard it and still it is relegated to basically scaruffi and Billy James's own site, and maybe a few other sites. and then there is Vincent van Gogh in his day compared to the emergence of a painter like Marla Olmstead whose story/documentary is the epitome of yuppie culture (basically a 4 year old paints abstract paintings / people buy her work because they think she is a child prodigy / prices for her works go through the stars / she is debunked by a developmental psychologist / people want there money back and/or the market collapses like a dying star / she turns 5 or 6...).

its hard to take what experts have to say seriously when they seem to not, or seem to be having too much fun. i guess thats better than the teacher in the essay: having no fun at all!

"Great art does indeed work, but I couldn't stick with that."

Indeed. That is the starting line, hopefully, not the final tape.

To be a great critic, eventually one of the questions that arises is Do I like this just because it speaks to something special and unique in me and not because it is particularly good in any way for all or most folks?. I think that is one of the final splits between an art lover and somebody who wants to be an art critic.

Otherwise, who cares? Hey, enjoy what you enjoy.

Nostalgia is a big element here. Do I like this work simply because it reminds me of who I was and where I was when I first encountered it? That's a legitimate pleasure, but hopefully a quality a critic realizes is too personal to include in an honest evaluation of a work.

On the other hand, if you can strip a good amount of that away and still feel like Family Guy is a great work of art, why couldn't it be? :)

Many if not most critics in Shakespeare's time didn't think his work could honestly qualify as great, especially if the groundlings could enjoy it so much and if he dabbled with such low genres as revenge dramas. Let this serve as a warning to all wannabe critics...

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

AFTERHOURS: Tried it but it didn't work for me. Is the bold really that hard to read? Anybody else around here think so?

LUKEPROG: In a perfect world, the perfect art critic could spend 10 years studying art theory and music theory, without ever being exposed to a canon. Then, he or she would listen to the entire history of music - perhaps 10 major works per year during the medieval period and working up to 1000 major works per year in the 21st century. Along the way, he or she would list the most impressive works, and then write a retrospective of his or her journey.

AFTERHOURS: That would be great. Problem is I don't have that kind of time. So I use sources like Scaruffi to track down what are likely the best ones, giving me a headstart so to speak. Out of those essential works I make my own judgments. Plus, it's probably unlikely that there is some staggering classical masterpiece from before, say, 1950, that has been missed, given how much "healthier" the state of criticism is in the field. Thankfully, Scaruffi isn't out on his own in classical.

I prefer the bold thing, helps me skim over the thing I've just read but reminds me what it is your replying.

Yep, agreed, that's why I do it.

i do not see a difference, it is all sound. you make a judgement and move on.

Hell Yes to Quatuor Pour La Fin Du Temps!

Yea, no kidding. Floored me 3 times now. It has an eerie, metaphysical power.

Most ambitious list...like...ever??

Ambitious music calls for an ambitious list I guess. But actually...

2nd most. My songs/tracks/movements list is idiotically ambitious--listological suicide.

Come to think of it, didn't some crazy dildo named darktremor make a list about every genre and subgenre of music that ever existed?

When are you getting around to listening to some more Bach? Die Kunst der Fuge is easily top ten.

I've heard it, as well as virtually all of Bach's major works: St Matthew Passion, Art of the Fugue as you mention, all his Brandenburg concertos, violin concertos, sonatas, partitas, cello suites, organ works and choral works and orchestral suites, goldberg variations...and more. For most of them it's just been years (like 5-10), so I'm not sure what I'd rate them at this point (my standards have risen dramatically since then). They're all amazing and I'll get back around to them when I can. I currently have 30+ CDs from the library I am listening to, and I'm not the type to just listen to them once and toss off a rating. I like to go over them numerous times so as to consider each accurately...time consuming yes, but well worth it. There are hundreds of classical works I've heard but haven't rated/ranked yet.

But yes, your enthusiasm alone makes me want to hear Art of the Fugue again very soon. Thanks.

RE: Verdi's Requiem & Boulez' Repons - highly deserving of their placements of this list. Your taste really is awesome (in the inclusions AND the ordering), there's very little on your list which so far I haven't liked.

Thanks! I try my best to be extremely accurate, perhaps too much so...change after change after change, listen after listen after listen, update and repeat, etc...

So it's nice to see that someone agrees and sees it to a similar degree I do. I appreciate your support and am very pleased that you're getting into such amazing music. More people should be so lucky. ( :

Your conscious effort to improve your lists is what makes them really good, the careful consideration that goes into each choice after a large amount of listening.

I wish more people in the world took music as seriously as many of us do on Listology, whether it be the love of the Beatles or of Captain Beefheart, the love of music here is what makes people discuss the subject so often and with so much passion.

Thanks for your kind words!

I agree. Keep going. Many more discoveries are right there to be had on the current list and there will be virtually infinite future updates and additions to come.

Which albums are you targeting next?

What is The Jazz Composer's Orchestra-Michael Mantler (1968)? Isn't it Communications - Jazz Composer's Orchestra? If not correct me, I'm confused as to what to search for at the moment.

I can't wait to find other great pieces of music! I'm currently looking into more jazz and modern classical, as they're both genres which so far seemed to have held some absolutely awesome masterpieces.

Here's the link on amazon to the album. It's more often called "Communications" by Jazz Composer's Orchestra. I should probably change the title to that and put the one I have listed as an alternate title:

http://www.amazon.com/Communications-Jazz-Composers-Orchestra/dp/B000024...

By all means, check the album out. It is incredible. An overwhelming monolith of sound.

Thanks! I'll definitely get that album (though I doubt on Amazon, as I don't have that kind of money) soon, but my acquisition of music has been temporarily stunted by the fact my internet has reached its download limit for this month which means I'll just have a look through my current collection and re-order and re-assess it.

I should probably change the title to ["Communications" by Jazz Composer's Orchestra]

yeah, it is not referred to as Michael Mantler's album in many places. the confusion is analogous to Frank Zappa's in that most refer to his early albums under his name when they are technically by The Mothers of Invention, though he composed every moment of the original music. Mantler composed all of the music but the album is under the moniker of the Jazz Composer's Orchestra (or JCOA which i have seen the "A" mean "America" and "Association"). i am not sure which one is more correct.

How long is Beethoven's Grosse Fuge?

around 16 min depending on the recording. It's so ahead of it's time (even more so than most other Beethoven works)

Quatuor Pour La Fin Du Temps-Messiaen (1940)

Wow. I'm on holiday at the mo in the middle of nowhere with nothing to do but read and listen to music. I think I've listened to this fantastic work about 6-7 times now and it is really quite something. Any of his other works worth searching for?

Oh man, yea that work is truly miraculous...heart stopping, sensitive, a thing of rare, aural beauty...

Haven't heard any of his other works yet though...if you do, let me know ( :

Indeed, particularly Abîme des Oiseaux, those waves of clarinet remind me of the waves of organ in Satz Ebene, beatifully haunting stuff. I will look out for more and tell you if I find anything else even close to this masterpiece.

Good luck. Few albums, musical works, can even approach it.

Shostakovich - String Quartet No. 8 In C Minor is fantastic, if you haven't already heard it, I highly recommend it!

I've heard it, I believe. I get some of his string quartets mixed up. All of the ones I've heard are superb.

Hey, two suggestions :

Paganini - Violin Concert No 1
Rachmaninoff - Piano Concert No 3

If you've heard before, opinions? =)

have you listened (or seen) to any works by Wagner before? the music in "Tristan Und Isolde" and "Der Ring" and "Die Meistersinger" are worth listening to, and Tristan Und Isolde is one of the best operas ever (with it's "Tristan chord")

Yes, I've listened to them but it was years ago and I don't remember which is which. When I get back to classical, I'll go through them.

cool i see
i also recommend tchaikovsky 4 if you haven't listened to it

Think I have, but it's been a long time

Wow man, just wow. I listened to Symphony #9 in D Minor "Choral"-Beethoven (1824) last night while cleaning my bathroom and sweeping - it was the first time I've listened to the entire thing in one sitting and it was easily the highlight of my day. I wish I had been brought up listening to this music, and I'm exceedingly glad you are making this list. What I'm really looking forward to is hunting down the top classical entries on here and just basking in an undiscovered paradise of beautiful music. Thanks again.

You're welcome. Beethovens 9th is incredible. Mahler's might be even better...slightly...though they're difficult to compare because they're so different.

BTW, this list really needs to be updated which is one of my next projects...I hope.

And just so you know there are probably dozens of 9's that could be added if I could ever get around to relistening to them and then listening to some of the potential ones I haven't heard yet.

What do you think of Mozart? Though I've never listened to him myself, I've always heard he was one of the greatest composers.

He is one of the greatest composers ever. Effortless and beautiful. His late works are by far his best. Requiem, famous operas, his last 4 Symphonies...

but none of his works qualify for a 9/10?

This list is dozens, probably well over a hundred entries short of completion. On top of that, even amongst the choices that are on here, it very badly needs updating. There is a very good chance Mozart has an opera, symphony, piano concerto or his requiem that would qualify but to be sure I'd have to go back an relisten to them which I just don't have the time to do right now.

ahh i see cool

Revised for the time being. Still numerous works to listen to again and also add to the list but at least what's on here is placed how I currently rank them.

wow big changes from what i saw last time
i think that hammerklavier and partita no. 2 should be way lower... although thats my personal opinion
anyways i was wondering whether you can spare a few minutes for a description of tabula rasa by paert? i'm not really convinced
oh and also i hope you'll think a bit about the other works by stravinsky and mahler and perhaps some prokofiev. there's the missa solemnis by beethoven as well

i think that hammerklavier and partita no. 2 should be way lower... although thats my personal opinion

It's all subjective, as you know. I never mean these things to be universally official, just my opinion

anyways i was wondering whether you can spare a few minutes for a description of tabula rasa by paert? i'm not really convinced

I'll try. The first half has a sense of mystery, dashing spiritual intensity, manifesting towards some universal destiny. While the second part is a drawn-out, infinite sigh. A funereal, gradual release of faith--it is also universal, like a collective, intensely grief-stricken loss of hope, a universal loss of salvation. The first part builds up a tremendous tension and dynamism, while the second part is a bleeding out of that, a still-life, tragic illustration of the spiritual collapse of man. As a whole it is a thoroughly miraculous, devastating work. A feverishly spiritual experience both in its vibrancy, conviction and sense of budding destiny (1st part) as well as the colossal loss of everything down to the very depths of man's soul (2nd part). It shows how these opposites, these different ends of the spectrum, how perhaps the whole gamut of human emotion and all of life, its rise and its fall, is in essence a tremendous galvanized drama towards spiritual salvation.

oh and also i hope you'll think a bit about the other works by stravinsky and mahler and perhaps some prokofiev. there's the missa solemnis by beethoven as well.

Within the next few months I'll be devoting most of my music listening towards rediscovering my classical past, as well as acquiring tons of new classical music, as opposed to how I've been devoting most of my attention to rock and jazz over the last 9 years.

ahh i see thanks for that detailed description! i'll try to listen to it again and see what i think again. perhaps i might see something new.
wow you've devoted your attention to rock and jazz over the last 9 years??? thats a pretty long time...

Good list, I can recommend some stuff to you

Have you heard Harry Partch's "Delusion of the Fury"? It's a sunged ballet, his music uses a 43-tone scale, and he invented a lot of percussion and stringed instruments.

You should hear Varèse too, especially "Deserts", it's part a symphonic, part electronic. And Giacinto Scelsi, the piece "Uaxuctum" and "Quatro Pezzi Su una nota", which are works build around only one note, or something like that.

By Frank Zappa I can recommend you "Sinister Footwear", it's sadly only available as a Bootleg, but the quality it's pretty astonishing to be an unofficial one. It's a great work, probably one of his masterpieces.

Have you heard Foetus and his other projects? Manorexia and Steroid maximus? Gondwanaland and Radolarian Ooze are pretty good.

Wow, thanks. I haven't heard any of those. I'm currently devoting myself to film but I will certainly look into these sometime in the future. If you want, check out my film lists and see if you have any ideas.

Check out: Olivier Messiaen - Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant-Jésus (Steven Osborne)

I recommend: Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier, Stravinsky's Symphony C and Puccini's Madame Butterfly. Also, are you a fan of Louis Armstrong and Charlie Parker?

No he isn't. Neither is Scarff :O

I enjoy them actually and both were tremendously influential. I just don't know of any albums by them that could be masterpieces (as their main tendency was towards singles)

You should make a top-singles list! Singles can be as creatively/artistically whole as an album, just smaller.

aka scaruffi doesn't have any albums posted (but if he did dun dun dun...) try some greatest hits collections (ella sings cole porter for instance is about 70000 times better than stockhausen) or the essential george gershwin?.

and just for the sake of argument (although i actually believe what im bout to say)

i'm not sure the album as an artform is really the main thing. yeah, an album CAN be an artform, but i think it's primarily a recording device for capturing preformances (or distributing them rather). most artists do not use the album as an artform, but rather write songs, collect them onto an album and release it. (maybe put them in an interesting order). take the VU & Nico, it's just a collection of songs, nothing symphonic about it. it's just a collection of recordings. same could be said of a lot of rock albums and almost all jazz. so why couldn't a collection of singles be a masterwork? cuz scaruffi doesn't think so. honestly if you had maybe 1 or 2 albums on here that AREN'T also on scaruffi's site i could begin to take you 1% seriously. but as it stands you're in a long line of pretentious faggots on this website who are afraid of having their own opinions and tastes, lest they look silly and uncultured.

btw, innovation, originality, complexity say nothing about whether the art is GOOD. good art cannot be measured. it isn't a fucking piece of uranium.

tl;dr you're wrong.

I agree in terms of straight rock albums that they are generally a collection of songs and even many concept albums are nothing more than linked lyrically. However, and I guess this is me veering off into electronic music territory again, albums in that genre are regularly made so the tracks are thematically linked and often these tracks are mixed together. An example would be Amon Tobin's Out, From Out Where. In a sense I guess you could say some electronic music shares more compositionally with classical than with rock.

The classic case to me of a collection being better than any of there albums is the Rolling Stones - Singles Collection: The London Years being a better listen than any of their albums. Exile On Main Street certainly has always seemed overrated to me when it is seen as the best Stones album by critics; I'd much rather listen to Sticky Fingers as well as Beggar's Banquet, Let It Bleed and even Between The Buttons. A carefully selected Radiohead collection which adds solo Yorke and Greenwood tracks would also be better than their albums. Ditto for Animal Collective.

I think the last four or five sentences are unnecessary insulting of Afterhours. I actually think that more credit is given to Scaruffi for people liking a lot of those rock albums above than in reality is the case. Firstly, his opinion is fairly conformist with regards his Jazz and Classical masterpieces. For the rock albums he was not the first person to be banging on about various artists that appear on this list. Lester Bangs could be argued as a bigger influence on why a lot of these artists, particularly the more punk-minded ones, have ended up being hailed as underground masterpieces. Loads of the 'hipster' scene like a lot of the albums that appear on this list too - listen to "I'm Losing My Edge" by LCD Soundsystem. There is a large number of supposedly Scaruffist artists mentioned in that song. No doubt James Murphy has liked those groups for years, way before Scarffi was heard of on a wide scale. Still I must concede Scaruffi was my door to the alternative rock scene or whatever you want to call it and from I can tell was yours too. Scaruffism is a stage that some people go through on first discovering the site, no one ends up actually agreeing perfectly on all his choices (e.g. Scaruffi obviously was toking too much on his crack pipe when he gave The River 1.5 higher than Unknown Pleasures/Doolittle/Person Pitch/Ride The Lightning/Endtroducing etc etc) but at the same time agreeing on a number of artists/albums is no surprise if you're a fan of a certain sound. I know he won't like me saying this but even Marquee shares a bunch of albums with Scaruffi in his fav music list! Also, you must concede there a few gems out there that may have been undiscovered without the man - Geek The Girl and even more so Lullaby Land spring to mind.

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Shut up.

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This is showing you discovering Afterhours then Scaruffi right? Funny, I thought Lukeprog was your idol on first arriving in Listologyland?

For a little while I actually thought AfterHours WAS Scaruffi! Heh.

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Obvious troll is obvious. It's like I'm on /b/ right now

Oh noes I broke rules 1 and 2, please don't be offended!

haha

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Elston, you were a "Scaruffag"? ahahaha you've been exposed!

Every time he speaks strongly out against something, you can be very very sure that he, a few months prior, strongly approved of the selfsame thing. (He was also quite big on Ray Carney before he decided he hated Carney too)

Woah! No need to be needlessly insulting, let's leave that to Elston. I'll have you know that I only owe my gratitude to Scaruffi for three albums: Double Nickels on the Dime, Geek the Girl and Ys; the rest of the rock works are fairly canonical. I grew up in a jazz (and, to an extent, blues) household so that explains those, so stop trying to drag my rep through the mud!

Also, Lester Bangs wasn't much of a critic. A necessary force, but let's get real. It seems he's often brought up by Scaruffi followers just because he was mentioned in an article or two; has anyone here ever cared to read him?

Yeah, I don't know if I count as a Scaruffist (you tell me?), but his peice of Astral Weeks is one of the most beautiful critical music essays I've ever read. His peice of James Chance and the No wave seen is just as inspiring.

Ha that's fair enough, there are enough places on the Internet already which are dedicated to insulting each other. And btw if you meant insulting as in saying scaruffi had an influence on you I apologise profusely :) Yeah, only one article by him though but I found it interesting. I was only citing him as he's quite a famous critic for supporting alternative music. And I wouldn't really call myself a 'scaruffi follower'.

Me, me, me!

No, seriously...

If you read any collection of his work chronologically arranged, you should be sure to push through at least into his middle period. Like many of us, the man got better as he chugged along...

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

No operas making the cut, or did I miss them? Here's a list of some of my favorites that you may be interested in:

Mozart's Don Giovanni; The Marriage of Figaro and Cosi Fan Tutte
Wagner's Tristan und Isolde and the Ring Cycle
Puccini's Madame Butterfly and La Boheme
Verdi's Aida; Don Carlo; La Traviata and Tosca (probably my favorite opera composer)
Bizet's Carmen
Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin

I'll admit it's an area of music I'm not particularly well-versed in, but all those that I mentioned I find to be extremely rewarding.

You bring up a totally valid point and there should be some on here, especially Wagner, Mozart, Verdi. Problem is, I haven't listened to any opera in approx 10 years so I just don't know where I'd place any of them. Second, this list is pretty outdated... if I were to revise a decent number of the choices would remain pretty much the same, but there are many additions to be made and it will probably be awhile before I get back around to working on it. I'm pretty much focused on film right now and I don't really have time for that as it is.

Deutsche Grammophon, Decca, and Opus Arte release lots of really great opera DVDs. Also there are the live broadcasts of Met performances that get broadcast worldwide at theatres. Those are good ways. And I would like to add Purcell's Dido & Aeneas to Marquee's list of operas!
Just add the DVDs to your movies things; the dramatic portion is a real important component of opera. Also some significant film directors have worked on opera-- Franco Zeffirelli, Ingmar Bergman, and Andrei Tarkovsky, for example.

Well, engaging and stimulating list, congratulations. Some considerations: White light White Heat is imho a 9 and Velvet with Nico a 8,5: indeed, it's a more persona album, totally satisfying in every single tracks: White light white heat is one of the best rock songs ever, The Waldo song one of the most mysterious piece of underground rock, LAdy's Godiva a great effort and i heard her call my name are great stuff and Sister Ray is the best ever piece of rock ever heard. Then...Beethoven's Ninth is a 9 but even the composer himself consider is fourth movement a failure (a monumental movement but an artistic partial failure). I suggest you to heard other masterpiece like op. 95 (most short and most beautiful quartet before the late ones), op. 109 and the Diabelli Variations. Mozart Nozze and Don deserve to be on list and, above all, Wagner's Tristan and Isolde and Bach's BWV 1080 are respectively a 9,5 and a 10 (maybe the only one in music). Greeting from Italy.

Thanks, for your suggestions. We enjoy a lot of the same music. I've heard and love everything you've listed. Though, I haven't listened to many of them in 5+ years and couldn't rank with enough confidence without hearing them again (which I will do in the forseeable future).

1.Symphony #9 in D Minor "Choral"-Beethoven (1824)=9
2.Symphony #9 in D Major-Mahler (1910)= need to relisten it.
4.Trout Mask Replica-Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band: need to relisten it.
6.A Love Supreme-John Coltrane (1964) need to relisten it
7.Rock Bottom-Robert Wyatt (1974)= 8,5
12.Symphony #15 in A Major-Shostakovich (1971)= 7,5 or 8
13.The Velvet Underground & Nico-The Velvet Underground (1967)=8,5
14.The Doors-The Doors (1967)=8,5
19.Symphony #7 in A Major-Beethoven (1812)= 8,5
20.Symphony #9 in C Major "The Great"-Schubert (1828)= 7,5
24.Rite of Spring-Stravinsky (1913) need to relisten it
26.Symphony #4 in E Minor-Brahms (1885)=8
34.Symphony #1 in C Minor-Brahms (1876)=8
37.Desertshore-Nico (1970)= hearing it in these days, but personally find Marble Index more extreme and compelling. Too early to give it a vote.
38.Symphony #3 in F Major-Brahms (1883)=8
41.Symphony #9 in E Minor "From The New World"-Dvorak (1893)= overrated, 7
42.Symphony #5 in C Minor-Beethoven (1808)=8 or 8,5
43.Symphony #3 in E-flat Major "Eroica"-Beethoven (1804)=9(astounding)
44.Symphony #6 in B Minor "Pathetique"-Tchaikovsky (1893)=8
45.Symphony #2 in D Major-Brahms (1877)=8
46.Symphonie Fantastique-Berlioz (1830)=7,5
49.Piano Sonata #29 "Hammerklavier"-Beethoven (1818)=9(but the last fugue need to be relisten)
50.Violin Partita #2 in D Minor-J.S. Bach (1723)=i'm shy and don't want to hear the ciaccona till... boh.
58.Blonde On Blonde-Bob Dylan (1966)=8,5
61.Astral Weeks-Van Morrison (1968)=7,5 or 8.
64.String Quartet in B flat major "Grosse Fuge"-Beethoven (1826)=9 or 9,5 still to decide (the first part is maybe the most compelling challenge in the history of music)
72.Symphony #8 in B Minor "Unfinished"-Schubert (1822)=8
74.Symphony #5 in E Minor-Tchaikovsky (1888)=8
84.White Light/White Heat-The Velvet Underground (1967)=9 (i still ignorant about many rock albums but this one is a masterpiece)

My Masterpiece in chronological order:
1722: Wohltemperierte Klavier Vol I (9)
1727: Matthaus Passion (9,5??)
1750: Die Kunst der Fuge (10??)
1786: Le Nozze di Figaro (9)
1787: Don Giovanni (9)
1804: Symphonie n. 3 (9)
1810: Quartet op. 95 (9)
1819: Sonate op. 106 (9)
1822: Sonate op. 111 (9,5??)
1823: Diabelli Variationen (9)
1824: Symphonie n. 9 (9)
1826: Grosse Fuge op. 133 (9,5??)
1856: Die Walkure (9)
1859: Tristan und Isolde (9,5)
1968: White Light/White Heat.(9)

Work in progress.....

Nice, seems like I am into everything you love in music--all your masterpieces are among my favorites.

Note, as I've mentioned above, that this list is in serious need of revisions and additions. I haven't seriously worked on it in a long time and even when I was working on it, it was far from completion. That said, most of my choices on here would still stand though the rock ones would be re-ordered as per my current greatest rock list and there would be revisions to the classical ordering, as well as quite a few additions.