Music You Must Know!

Of late, I have been thinking a lot about the fact that it is important for all young musicians to listen to music. Learning an instrument without listening is like trying to learn a language from a book. It's not impossible, but you're very unlikely to be able to talk with the correct accent!

This list is by no means comprehensive, but it is a cross-section of some of the greatest works of Western Music, in roughly chronological order.

I have searched all of these pieces on Youtube and linked to performances I think will be enjoyable. They span a cross-section of orchestras from different times and places. I've also put them into a playlist to make things easier.

Large Scale Orchestral Pieces

Bach - Brandenburg Concerto Number 3

Bach - Brandenburg Concerto Number 5

Vivaldi - The Four Seasons

Haydn - Surprise Symphony

Haydn - Farewell Symphony (a subtle message from Haydn to the Count of Esterhaze that the court had been away from home for too long, and that his players would like to go home to their families)

Mozart Symphony No. 40 

Mozart Symphony No. 41

Beethoven Symphony No 3

Beethoven Symphony No 5

Beethoven Symphony No 6

Beethoven Symphony No 7

Beethoven Symphony No 8

Beethoven Symphony No 9 (Pat Strevens, my Grandfather is 4th horn for this, and plays the solo in the slow movement)

Schubert Symphony No 9

Schumann Symphony No 3

Mendelssohn Symphony No 4 (Italian)

Brahms Symphony No 4

Tchaikovsky Symphony No 5

Shostakovich Symphony No 5

Shostakovich Symphony No 8

Shostakovich Symphony No 10

Rachmaninov Symphony No 2

Bartok Concerto for Orchestra

Shorter Orchestral Pieces

Mozart - Overture to the Marriage of Figaro

Beethoven - Leonore 3 Overture

Mendelssohn - Overture to A Midsummer Night's Dream

Mendelssohn - Hebrides Overture

Rossini - William Tell Overture

Glinka - Ruslan and Ludmilla Overture

Respighi - The Pines of Rome Overture

Verdi - Overture, The Force of Destiny

Orchestral Programme Music (Music with a Story)

Tchaikovsky - Swan Lake Suite

Tchaikovsky - Nutcracker Suite

Prokofiev - Romeo and Juliet Suite

Strauss - Don Juan

Strauss - Also sprach Zarathustra

Strauss - Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks

Stravinsky - Firebird

Stravinsky - Rite of Spring

Cello Concertos

Haydn C Major Concerto

Haydn D Major Concerto

Beethoven Triple Concerto

Schumann Concerto

Brahms Double Concerto

Dvorak Concerto

Elgar Concerto

Shostakovich Concerto