Wherein We Elect Our Favourite Classical Compositions of… the 1840s

Message Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed

It doesn't get any easier…

Poll Results

OptionVotes
Charles-Valentin Alkan - Grande sonate, ‘Les quatre âges’, Op. 33 (1848) 2
Frédéric Chopin - Polonaise in A-flat major, Op. 53 (1842-1843) 2
Hector Berlioz - La damnation de Faust, Op. 24 (1845-1846) 2
Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy - Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 64 (1844) 2
Franz Liszt - Années de pèlerinage, 2ème année – Italie (1837-1849) 1
Franz Liszt - Réminiscences de Don Juan (1841) 1
Frédéric Chopin - Barcarolle in F-sharp major, Op. 60 (1845-1846) 1
Louise Farrenc - Symphony No. 3 in G minor, Op. 36 (1847) 1
Richard Wagner - Lohengrin (1845-1848) 1
Richard Wagner - Tannhäuser (1842-1845) 1
Frédéric Chopin - Ballade No. 4 in F minor, Op. 52 (1842) 1
Robert Schumann - Symphony No. 1 in B-flat major, Op. 38 (1841) 1
Robert Schumann - Piano Quintet in E-flat major, Op. 44 (1842) 1
Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy - String Quartet No. 6 in F minor, Op. 80 (1847) 1
Frédéric Chopin - Two Nocturnes, Op. 62 (1846) 1
Giuseppe Verdi - Macbeth (1847) 1
Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy - Symphony No. 3 in A minor, ‘Scottish’, Op. 56 (1841-1842) 1
Johann Strauss I - Radetzky March, Op. 228 (1848) 0
Hector Berlioz - Les nuits d’été, Op. 7 (1841) 0
Giuseppe Verdi - Nabucco (1842) 0
Niels W. Gade - Symphony No. 1 in C minor, ‘Paa Sjølunds fagre Sletter’, Op. 5 (1842) 0
Richard Wagner - Der fliegende Holländer (1840-1841) 0
Robert Schumann - Three Romances for Oboe and Piano, Op. 94 (1849) 0
Robert Schumann - Liederkreis, Op. 24 (1840) 0
Robert Schumann - String Quartet No. 1 in A minor, Op. 41/1 (1842) 0
Robert Schumann - Dichterliebe, Op. 48 (1840) 0
Robert Schumann - Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54 (1845) 0
Robert Schumann - Symphony No. 2 in C major, Op. 61 (1845-1846) 0
Robert Schumann - Waldszenen, Op. 82 (1848-1849) 0
Giacomo Meyerbeer - Le prophète (1849) 0
George Onslow - Piano Quintet in B-flat major, Op. 79b (1849) 0
Franz Liszt - Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 (1847) 0
Franz Berwald - Symphony No. 4 in E-flat major, ‘naïve’ (1845) 0
Franz Berwald - Symphony No. 3 in C major, ‘singulière’ (1845) 0
Franz Berwald - Symphony No. 2 in D major, ‘capricieuse’ (1842) 0
Franz Berwald - Symphony No. 1 in G minor, ‘sérieuse’ (1842) 0
Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy - Elijah, Op. 70 (1846) 0
Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy - Songs Without Words, Book V, Op. 62 (1842-1844) 0
Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy - Variations sérieuses, Op. 54 (1841) 0
Franz Liszt - Trois études de concert (1845-1849) 0
Frédéric Chopin - Fantasie in F minor, Op. 49 (1841) 0
George Onslow - Nonet in A minor, Op. 77a (1848) 0
Frédéric Chopin - Three Waltzes, Op. 64 (1847) 0
Frédéric Chopin - Three Mazurkas, Op. 63 (1846-1847) 0
Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy - Songs Without Words, Book VI , Op. 67 (1843-1845) 0
Frédéric Chopin - Polonaise-Fantaisie in A-flat major, Op. 61 (1846) 0
Frédéric Chopin - Three Mazurkas, Op. 59 (1845-1846) 0
Frédéric Chopin - Piano Sonata No. 3 in B minor, Op. 58 (1844-1845) 0
Frédéric Chopin - Berceuse in D-flat major, Op. 57 (1844) 0
Charles-Valentin Alkan - 25 Preludes, Op. 31 (1847) 0


pomenitul, Thursday, 28 November 2019 08:19 (two weeks ago) link

At first glance, Mendelssohn's sixth and final string quartet, a chamber requiem dedicated to his sister Fanny, written a mere two months before his own death, is Romanticism at its most tragic and it may well be my favourite thing on this list but there are so many contenders!

pomenitul, Thursday, 28 November 2019 08:23 (two weeks ago) link

Louise Farrenc's 3rd Symphony also deserves everyone's attention. The Guardian had a piece about it a while back, as part of their '50 greatest symphonies' series:

https://www.theguardian.com/music/tomserviceblog/2014/jun/24/symphony-guide-louise-farrenc-third-symphony-tom-service

(I can't believe they didn't include Sofia Gubaidulina's Symphony in their guide, but I'm getting ahead of myself.)

pomenitul, Thursday, 28 November 2019 08:28 (two weeks ago) link

Shouldn't this include Mendelssohn's incidental music to "A Midsummer Night's Dream"? I love that one to pieces, even if the Wedding March bit has, of course, become a cliché.

Tuomas, Thursday, 28 November 2019 10:28 (two weeks ago) link

hmmm Faust or Macbeth or Wagner idk

FBPRieu (Noodle Vague), Thursday, 28 November 2019 10:30 (two weeks ago) link

Tuomas, I considered it but had to make cuts. The next decade is bound to be less crowded.

pomenitul, Thursday, 28 November 2019 10:51 (two weeks ago) link

Probably in the minority here, but this feels a bit like going from a film list from the 70's to the 80's. This is just so not my period, lol. Props for having the Radetzky March on there, at least we got a good book out of that. And I still have nightmares from watching André Rieu perform it on youtube.

Frederik B, Thursday, 28 November 2019 11:05 (two weeks ago) link

I see where you're coming from but Mendelssohn and Chopin both peaked this decade imho. Plus, it more or less marks the beginning of the Scando era…

pomenitul, Thursday, 28 November 2019 11:59 (two weeks ago) link

Try as I might, I'll never understand neither Mendelssohn nor Chopin. And I grew up where classical radio was on all the time, so it's not as if I didn't hear it, but it just doesn't speak to me.

Frederik B, Thursday, 28 November 2019 12:21 (two weeks ago) link

Obligatory Spotify playlist for those interested: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/6L7ZGx6tNXHhywWlpXESlq
Everything should be represented in some form, but substitution of recordings is again likely...

Nag! Nag! Nag!, Thursday, 28 November 2019 14:03 (two weeks ago) link

I'll post a few suggestions in a bit. I'm sure Jon will have plenty of quality recordings to recommend as well.

pomenitul, Thursday, 28 November 2019 14:12 (two weeks ago) link

chopin barcarolle is my favorite solo piano work ever

ciderpress, Thursday, 28 November 2019 16:22 (two weeks ago) link

Some personal favourites:

Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy - Variations sérieuses, Op. 54 – Bertrand Chamayou
Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy - Symphony No. 3 in A minor, ‘Scottish’, Op. 56 – Berliner Philharmoniker, Claudio Abbado
Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy - Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 64 – Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Carolin Widmann
Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy - String Quartet No. 6 in F minor, Op. 80 – Minguet Quartett
Franz Berwald - Symphony No. 3 in C major, ‘singulière’ – Malmö Symphony Orchestra, Sixten Ehrling
Frédéric Chopin - Ballade No. 4 in F minor, Op. 52 – Krystian Zimerman
Frédéric Chopin - Polonaise in A-flat major, Op. 53 – Piotr Anderszewski
Frédéric Chopin - Berceuse in D-flat major, Op. 57 – Stephen Hough
Frédéric Chopin - Piano Sonata No. 3 in B minor, Op. 58 – Marc-André Hamelin
Frédéric Chopin - Barcarolle in F-sharp major, Op. 60 – Dinu Lipatti
Frédéric Chopin - Polonaise-Fantaisie in A-flat major, Op. 61 – Rafał Blechacz
Frédéric Chopin - Two Nocturnes, Op. 62 - Ivan Moravec
Frédéric Chopin - Three Mazurkas, Op. 63 – Maria João Pires
Frédéric Chopin - Three Waltzes, Op. 64 – Dinu Lipatti
Hector Berlioz - Les nuits d’été, Op. 7 – Bernarda Fink, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Kent Nagano
Robert Schumann - Liederkreis, Op. 24 – Gerald Finley, Julius Drake
Robert Schumann - String Quartet No. 1 in A minor, Op. 41/1 – Zehetmair Quartett
Robert Schumann - Piano Quintet in E-flat major, Op. 44 – Jerusalem Quartet, Alexander Melnikov
Robert Schumann - Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54 – Leif Ove Andsnes, Berliner Philharmoniker, Mariss Jansons
Robert Schumann - Symphony No. 2 in C major, Op. 61 – WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln, Heinz Holliger

pomenitul, Thursday, 28 November 2019 17:10 (two weeks ago) link

i do definitely like berwald's third; i'm still pretty light on the actual classics (having come into them backwards) so that's the only one that jumps out at me. i know (and dislike) wagner from the "bleeding chunks", those names are all familiar to me, but i can't tell a fantasie from a ballade from a berceuse from a barcarolle

i'm sure i've heard hungrian rhapsody #2 but i can't remember it. anyway i'm listening to the sixth string quartet, apparently again, and i'm liking it more than i must have done the last time.

it's a really good education going through these by decade; i tend to get 19th century art all mixed up, not knowing who was a contemporary of whom. waiting for the russians to show up (no glinka you don't fucking count, fuck off)

Agnes Motörhead (rushomancy), Thursday, 28 November 2019 20:23 (two weeks ago) link

It's a learning experience for me as well. My sense of chronology is all too fuzzy otherwise and doesn't really go beyond 'early/mid/late 19th' at best. It's also much more instructive to focus on works instead of composers, who often span several eras at once (for instance, Saint-Saëns was born in 1835 and died in 1921!).

pomenitul, Thursday, 28 November 2019 20:39 (two weeks ago) link

Speaking of fuzzy chronology I don't think I realised Wagner had delivered even this much before the middle of the century. I dig most of the bleeding chunks quite a bit, but have absorbed little of the operas otherwise. Which no doubt makes me a disgusting savage.

Nag! Nag! Nag!, Friday, 29 November 2019 09:47 (two weeks ago) link

I've only heard a handful of these but I have Simon Rattle conducting Schumann's symphonies on Bluray and the first is great, so that one, just over Tannhauser.

Tom Violence (Extended Club Mix) (Tom Violence), Friday, 29 November 2019 21:40 (two weeks ago) link

Franz Liszt - Années de pèlerinage, 2ème année – Italie (1837-1849)

Voted for this, on impulse.

No language just sound (Sund4r), Tuesday, 3 December 2019 21:42 (one week ago) link

My vote is going to Liszt as well, but the Reminiscences- as the most mold-breaking and boundary bending of the choices here, and as representative of Liszt’s mighty solo piano operatic fantasies in general. As close to recorded jazz as you could get in the mid 19c.

valet doberman (Jon not Jon), Tuesday, 3 December 2019 22:19 (one week ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Wednesday, 4 December 2019 00:01 (one week ago) link

Heroic polonaise for me.

jacquees, full of cobras (voodoo chili), Wednesday, 4 December 2019 01:33 (one week ago) link

As much as I love early-middle period Liszt, I'm saving my vote for the late works. Well, except for the upcoming Piano Sonata, perhaps.

As expected, I'm going with Mendelssohn's heartbreaking 6th String Quartet.

pomenitul, Wednesday, 4 December 2019 08:31 (one week ago) link

Thank you for highlighting that piece btw, I have listened to it before but not closely enough apparently. It is great. Also got ahold of the Farrenc 3rd because of your advocacy and its excellent - can certainly hold its own in this company. So thanks for that as well.

valet doberman (Jon not Jon), Wednesday, 4 December 2019 12:11 (one week ago) link

My pleasure! And thanks for your excellent recommendations throughout!

pomenitul, Wednesday, 4 December 2019 12:12 (one week ago) link

Schumann's Piano Quintet, easily my favorite thing of his in sonata form (or whatever you call it).

punning display, Wednesday, 4 December 2019 22:59 (one week ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll's results are now in.

System, Thursday, 5 December 2019 00:01 (one week ago) link

I voted for that Alkan, but mostly for being the Piece By A Composer I Only Vaguely Knew Beforehand That I Found Myself Coming Back To Most Frequently.

The music in these threads has utterly dominated my listening over the last month or so. I seem to be noting recommended recordings then falling silent in each thread, but I am *really* digging this exercise. (Perhaps this era especially as I'm so 20th-century-centric.) Thanks pomenitul!

Nag! Nag! Nag!, Thursday, 5 December 2019 01:30 (one week ago) link

17 pieces got a vote! V interesting.

valet doberman (Jon not Jon), Thursday, 5 December 2019 02:13 (one week ago) link

My pleasure, Nag!

I'm glad Les quatre âges got a couple of votes, it's an incredible piece and it really stands out within its era. And the lack of consensus is a sight to behold.

pomenitul, Thursday, 5 December 2019 08:18 (one week ago) link

Yeah, thanks pom. This was a great idea, and the execution has been great too. Just great work!

Frederik B, Thursday, 5 December 2019 09:51 (one week ago) link

:)

It'll no doubt be a more fragmentary exercice post-1960s but I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.

pomenitul, Thursday, 5 December 2019 10:36 (one week ago) link


You must be logged in to post. Please either login here, or if you are not registered, you may register here.