Friday, August 31, 2018

Classical Works: Top 100

This was originally posted as a top 10 on the DMDB Facebook page on 2/21/10 and then expanded to a top 50 on 5/2/2011. This list was determined by an aggregate of more than 30 classical-music-focused, best-of lists combined with the works’ standings in the overall Dave’s Music Database. Here’s the top classical works (which includes operas, symphonies, concertos, etc.) according to the DMDB. Note: most of these are considered “albums” based on their lengths. Those works noted with an asterisk (*) are shorter pieces and not considered album-length works.


Composer: Name of Work (year composition was finished)
1. Johann Sebastian Bach: Goldberg Variations (1741)
2. Pyotr Il’yich Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No. 1 (1875)
3. Antonio Vivaldi: The Four Seasons (1725)
4. George & Ira Gershwin: An American in Paris (classical soundtrack, 10/4/51)
5. Giovanni Pierluigi Palestrina: Missa Papae Marcelli (Pope Marcellus Mass) (1562)
6. Johann Sebastian Bach: Cello Suites (1717-23)
7. Ludwig van Beethoven: Piano Sonatas (32) (1795-1822)
8. Claudio Monteverdi: Vespers of the Blessed Virgin (1610)
9. Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 5 (1808)
10. George Friedrich Handel: Messiah (1741)

11. Thomas Tallis: “Spem in Alium, Motet for 40 Voices” (1570) *
12. Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 7 (1812)
13. Johann Sebastian Bach: Brandenburg Concertos (1719-21)
14. Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 (1824)
15. Claudio Monteverdi: L’Orfeo (opera, 1607)
16. Johann Sebastian Bach: Mass in B Minor (1733-1749)
17. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Piano Concertos (27) (1773-1791)
18. Modest Mussorgsky: Tableaux d'une Exposition (Pictures at an Exhibition) (1874)
19. George Friedrich Handel: Water Music (1717)
20. Ludwig van Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 5 “Emperor” (1809)

21. Georges Bizet: Carmen (opera, 1873-74)
22. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Requiem Mass in D minor (1791)
23. Johann Sebastian Bach “Toccato and Fugue for Organ in D minor” (1708) *
24. Igor Stravinsky: Le Sacre Du Printemps (The Rite of Spring) (ballet, 1913)
25. Ludwig van Beethoven: Violin Concerto in D Major (1806)
26. Johann Pachelbel “Canon in D major” (1694) *
27. Johann Sebastian Bach: St. Matthew Passion (1736)
28. Ludwig van Beethoven: String Quartets (16) (1798-1826)
29. Richard Wagner: Der Ring Des Nibelungen (The Ring Cycle) (opera, 1848-1874)
30. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Don Giovanni (opera, 1787)

31. Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 6 “Pastorale” (1808)
32. Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 3 in E-flat “Sinfonia Eroica” (1804)
33. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Le Nozze di Figaro (“The Marriage of Figaro”) (1786)
34. Richard Wagner: Tristan Und Isolde (opera, 1857-59)
35. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Symphony No. 40 in G minor (1788)
36. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Symphony No. 41 “Jupiter” (1788)
37. Hector Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique (1830)
38. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Clarinet Concerto in A Major (1791)
39. Béla Bartók: The String Quartets (1908-39)
40. Richard Strauss: Also Sprach Zarathustra (1896)

41. Gioacchino Rossini: Il Barbiere di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville) (opera, 1816)
42. Giuseppe Verdi: Messa Da Requiem (Requiem Mass) (1874)
43. Johannes Brahms: Symphony No. 4 (1885)
44. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Die Zauberflote (“The Magic Flute”) (1791)
45. Béla Bartók: Concerto for Orchestra (1944)
46. Franz Schubert: Symphony No. 8 “Unfinished”) (1822)
47. Franz Schubert: Piano Quintet in A Major (“Trout”) (1814)
48. Franz Liszt: Piano Sonata in B Minor (1853)
49. Sergey Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor (1901)
50. Igor Stravinsky: Pétrouchka (aka “Petrushka”) (ballet, 1947)

51. Giacomo Puccini: La Bohème (opera, 1896, performed 2/1/1896)
52. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Eine Kleine Nachtmusik (1787)
53. Giacomo Puccini: Tosca (opera, 1900)
54. Gustav Mahler: Symphony No. 1 in D major (“Titan”) (1884-88)
55. Antonin Dvorák: Cello Concerto in B minor (1895)
56. Gustav Mahler: Symphony No. 9 in D major (1909)
57. Pyotr Il’yich Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6 in B minor (“Pathetique”) (1893)
58. Sergey Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor (1909)
59. Claude Debussy: La Mer (ballet, 1903-05)
60. Gustav Mahler: Symphony No. 5 in C-sharp minor (1902)

61. Johannes Brahms: Symphony No. 1 in C minor (1876)
62. Igor Stravinsky: L’Oiseau de Feu (The Firebird) (ballet, 1910)
63. Giuseppe Verdi: Aida (opera, 1871)
64. Franz Schubert: Winterreise (1827)
65. Franz Schubert: Symphony No. 9 in C major (“The Great”) (1828)
66. Aaron Copland: Appalachian Spring (ballet, 1944)
67. Johannes Brahms: Violin Concerto in D major (1878)
68. Edward Elgar: Cello Concerto in E minor (1919)
69. Felix Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto in E minor (1844)
70. Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky: “1812 Overture” (1880)

71. Giuseppe Verdi: La Traviata (1853)
72. Franz Schubert: String Quintet in C major (1828)
73. Gustav Mahler: Symphony No. 2 in C minor (“Resurrection”) (1894)
74. Antonin Dvorak: Symphony No. 9 in E minor (“From the New World”) (1893)
75. Giacomo Puccini: Turandot (1926)
76. Felix Mendelssohn: A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1842)
77. Edvard Grieg: Peer Gynt Suite No. 1 (1875)
78. Johannes Brahms: Symphony No. 3 in F major (1883)
79. Carl Orff…Carmina Burana (1936)
80. Johannes Brahms: Symphony No. 2 in D major (1877)

81. Gabriel Fauré: Requiem in D minor (1900)
82. Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto in D major (1878)
83. Giuseppe Verdi: Rigoletto (1851)
84. Alban Berg: Violin Concerto (1935)
85. Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 5 in E minor (1888)
86. Dmitri Shostakovich: Symphony No. 5 in D minor (1937)
87. Pyotr Il’yich Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker Suite (1891)
88. Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 4 in F minor (1878)
89. Maurice Ravel: “Boléro” (1928) *
90. Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake (1876)

91. Johannes Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-flat major (1881)
92. Gustav Holst: The Planets (1919)
93. Edward Elgar: Enigma Variations (1899)
94. Maurice Ravel: String Quartet in F major (1903)
95. Sergei Prokofiev: Romeo and Juliet (1935)
96. Giacomo Puccini: Madame Butterfly (Madama Butterfly) (1904)
97. Jean Sibelius: Symphony No. 5 in E-flat major (1915)
98. Claude Debussy: Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun (Prelude L'Apres Midi d'un Faune) (1894)
99. Jean Sibelius…Symphony No. 2 in D major (1902)
100. Arnold Schoenberg: Verklärte Nacht (1899)


Wednesday, August 29, 2018

In Concert: Melissa Etheridge, 8/29/18

image from fortune.com

Venue: Grinders at Crossroads; Kansas City, MO

Considering Etheridge is from Leavenworth, Kansas, this was a hometown show of sorts. She interspersed a number of stories with her songs, joking with the audience at one point about how often she remembered seeing shows where the performer didn’t know if he/she was in Kansas or Missouri. The show relied heavily on nostalgia, pulling the entire set list from albums released from 1988-1995, meaning she touched nothing from the last twenty-plus years of her career.

She somewhat daringly played five non-hit album cuts mid-show with only "If I Wanted To" thrown in the middle of them. The highlight of the show was during the 15-minute-plus encore of “Like the Way I Do” when she joined the drummer on his kit to play a lengthy drum solo, er, duet. See video clip below from another show. Drum duet starts at about the 8:45 point of the video.

Set List:

1. No Souvenirs 2
2. Similar Features 1
3. Let Me Go 2
4. I Want to Come Over 5
5. Royal Station 4/16 2
6. Yes I Am 4
7. If I Wanted To 4
8. Ruins 4
9. An Unusual Kiss 5
10. Shriner’s Park 5
11. Chrome Plate Heart 1
12. Come to My Window 4
13. Bring Me Some Water 1
14. I’m the Only One 4

Encore:

15. Like the Way I Do 1

Like the Way I Do (live, 3/17/18)


Select Discography:
  • 1 Melissa Etheridge (1988)
  • 2 Brave and Crazy (1989)
  • 3 Never Enough (1992)
  • 4 Yes I Am (1993)
  • 5 Your Little Secret (1995)


Saturday, August 25, 2018

Happy Birthday, Elvis Costello! / His Top 50 Songs

image from norwalkreflector.com

Elvis Costello was born Declan McManus in Liverpool, England, on August 25, 1954. He came out of the British punk/new wave scene in 1977 and became one of the most celebrated musicians of all time with his diverse abilities for dipping his toe into multiple musical genres including R&B, country, and classical. While these lists reflect a definite emphasis on his work from the ‘70s and ‘80s, Costello continues to make adventurous music. His fans never know just where he might go on his next album.

Sales, chart date, awards, and appearances on best-of lists are factored into the song and album lists. The song list also includes appearances on Elvis Costello specific lists and compilations.


The Top 50 Elvis Costello Songs

Alison

1. Alison (1977)
2. Watching the Detectives (1977)
3. Radio Radio (1978)
4. Oliver’s Army (1979)
5. Pump It Up (1978)

Watching the Detectives

6. What’s So Funny ‘Bout Peace, Love, and Understanding? (1979)
7. Everyday I Write the Book (1983)
8. Accidents Will Happen (1979)
9. Veronica (1989)
10. Shipbuilding (1983)

Radio Radio

11. I Don’t Want to Go to Chelsea (1978)
12. Man Out of Time (1982)
13. I Want You (1986)
14. Beyond Belief (1982)
15. I Can’t Stand Up for Falling Down (1980)

Oliver’s Army

16. Lipstick Vogue (1978)
17. Clubland (1981)
18. A Good Year for the Roses (1981)
19. The Other Side of Summer (1991)
20. The Only Flame in Town (1984)

Pump It Up

21. 13 Steps Lead Down (1994)
22. New Lace Sleeves (1981)
23. The Angels Want to Wear My Red Shoes (1977)
24. Watch Your Step (1981)
25. High Fidelity (1980)

26. Two Little Hitlers (1979)
27. New Amsterdam (1980)
28. Pills and Soap (1983)
29. All This Useless Beauty (1996)
30. Less Than Zero (1977)

What’s So Funny ‘Bout Peace, Love, and Understanding?

31. Brilliant Mistake (1986)
32. Tokyo Storm Warning (1986)
33. Indoor Fireworks (1986)
34. Tramp the Dirt Down (1989)
35. This Town (1989)

Everyday I Write the Book

36. Baby Plays Around (1989)
37. Kinder Murder (1994)
38. So Like Candy (1991)
39. Almost Blue (1982)
40. Party Party (1982)

Accidents Will Happen

41. King Horse (1980)
42. Mystery Dance (1977)
43. Riot Act (1980)
44. Hurry Down Doomsday (1991)
45. Sulky Girl (1994)

Veronica

46. I Wanna Be Loved (1984)
47. Psycho (1979)
48. I’m Not Angry (1977)
49. Tiny Steps (1978)
50. Let Him Dangle (1989)

Shipbuilding


Awards:


Resources and Related Links:

Friday, August 17, 2018

August 17, 1876: Wagner's Ring Cycle completes its first full performance

Last updated August 30, 2018.

Der Ring Des Nibelungen (The Ring Cycle)

Richard Wagner (composer)


Composed: 1848-1876


First Performed as a Cycle: August 13-17, 1876


Sales: --


Peak: --

Quotable: --


Genre: classical > opera


Works/When Composed (w)/When First Performed (p)/Average Duration:

  1. Das Rheingold (The Rhine Gold), opera, WWV 86a (w. 1853-54, p. 9/22/1869) [148:00]
  2. Die Walküre (The Valkyrie), opera, WWV 86b (w. 1854-56, p. 6/26/1870) [220:00]
  3. Siegfried, opera, WWV 86c (w. 1856-71, p. 8/16/1876) [235:40]
  4. Die Götterdämmerung (Twilight of the Gods), opera, WWV 86d (w. 1869-74, p. 8/17/1876) [259:10]

Review:

Stretched out over 15 hours, Wagner’s Ring Cycle comprises “one of the most extended of all artistic creations.” AMG His series of four operas, created over a quarter century, are sometimes performed separately, but Wagner intended them as a series. The first opera, Das Rheingold, is the shortest, typically running about two and a half hours, while Götterdämmerung , the last of the four, can run five hours. WK He eventually premiered the full cycle from August 13-17 in 1876 WK at his Festival Theater in Bayreuth. TM1 The four-day event was seen by audiences as comparable to visiting a shrine. To this day, the staging and attending of the full Ring Cycle is considered “the most significant events in the lives of both opera companies and opera-going fans.” AMG

The story centers around characters based on the Norse sagas, following three generations of protagonists. Alberich is a dwarf who, with gold stolen from the Rhine maidens in the river Rhine, fashions a magic ring which gives him the power to rule the world. WK Wotan, the chief of the gods, oversees the existing world order ruling through adherence to contracts, which he keeps on a spear. AMG He schemes to regain the ring and also sacrifices an eye to gain the hand of Fricka, the goddess of marriage. AMG Alberich and Wotan are opposites, in that one has sacrificed love for power and the other sacrifices for love. AMG

Musically, there are suites of motives headed by the Ring which are marked by a simple pair of chords while “an imposingly-rhythmed downward major scale” AMG marks the motives ruled by the Spear. Nature, a third force from the beginning of the opera which represents the power between Man and Gods, “is represented by a single chord, unwound into a slow upward arpeggio.” AMG

“The music of the cycle is thick and richly textured and grows in complexity as the cycle proceeds. Wagner wrote for an orchestra of gargantuan proportions, including a greatly enlarged brass section with new instruments such as the Wagner tuba, bass trumpet and contrabass trombone” WK and minimal use of a chorus. WK

In the first opera, Das Rheingold (The Rhine Gold), greed and the lust for power are beginning to corrupt the world. The Ring, Wotan’s spear, and the renunciation of love are introduced. Wotan’s human children, Siegmund and Sieglinde, and the Valkyrie, Brünnhilde, inherit situations brought on by a series of “gods, nymphs, giants, and dwarves.” TM1

The second opera, Die Walküre (The Valkyrie), is the one most often performed separately and is arguably Wagner’s best-loved work. The story focuses on the incestuous love between Siegmund and Sieglinde “and the father-daughter relationship of Wotan and Brünnhilde.” TM2

Wagner halted work on Siegfried, the third opera, in 1857 when the Ring project hit financial obstacles. Wagner moved on to other works, including Tristan and Die Meistersinger, before finally returning to the Ring in 1869, TM3 during which time Wagner moved from his initial intent to make Siegfried as the drama’s hero to a greater exploration of Wotan. He also developed a more pessimistic stance in which greed and corruption could not be overcome by the power of love alone. TM3

As the longest of the four operas, Die Götterdämmerung (Twilight of the Gods) is “one of the longest evenings of opera in the standard repertory.” TM4 “‘Siegfried’s Rhine Journey’ probably comprise the longest continuous stretch of music heard in any operatic work.” TM4 “Despite this, the drama is so compressed that events seem almost to race to their cataclysmic end.” TM4 “Musically, Wagner has gained such mastery of his drama and musical motives, that he treats both with superb fluidity.” TM4 Wagner completed the entire opera on November 21, 1874. TM4


Review Source(s):


Awards:


Related DMDB Link(s):


Thursday, August 16, 2018

Aretha Franklin: Top 50 Songs

image from Detroit Free Press

Farewell to the Queen of Soul, who passed away August 16, 2018, at age 76. She was born on March 25, 1942, in Memphis, Tennessee, and became the most charted female artist in the history of the Billboard R&B charts. Rolling Stone magazine ranked her first in their list of the greatest singers of all time.

Here are her top 50 songs, based on chart figures, sales, awards, and placement on best-of lists.

Respect

1. Respect (1967)
2. You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman (1967)
3. Chain of Fools (1967)
4. I Say a Little Prayer (1968)
5. I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You (1967)
6. Think (1968)
7. Bridge Over Troubled Water (1971)
8. Until You Come Back to Me (1973)
9. I Knew You Were Waiting for Me (with George Michael, 1986)
10. Spanish Harlem (1971)

You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman

11. Freeway of Love (1985)
12. Baby I Love You (1967)
13. Sweet Sweet Baby, Since You’ve Been Gone (1968)
14. Rock Steady (1971)
15. Eleanor Rigby (1969)
16. Sisters Are Doin’ It for Themselves (with the Eurythmics, 1985)
17. Don’t Play That Song (You Lied) (1970)
18. Do Right Woman, Do Right Man (1967)
19. Day Dreaming (1972)
20. Who’s Zooming Who? (1985)

Think

21. Angel (1973)
22. The House That Jack Built (1968)
23. See Saw (1968)
24. Through the Storm (with Elton John, 1989)
25. Jumpin’ Jack Flash (1986)
26. The Weight (1969)
27. Something He Can Feel (1976)
28. Another Night (1985)
29. Share Your Love with Me (1969)
30. Call Me (1970)

I Say a Little Prayer

31. You’re All I Need to Get By (1971)
32. Border Song (Holy Moses) (1970)
33. I’m in Love (1974)
34. Jimmy Lee (1986)
35. Ain’t No Way (1968)
36. Jump to It (1982)
37. You Send Me (1968)
38. I Can’t See Myself Leaving You (1968)
39. Spirit in the Dark (1970)
40. Rock-a-Bye Your Baby with a Dixie Melody (1961)

Sisters Are Doin’ It for Themselves

41. All the King’s Horses (1972)
42. Son of a Preacher Man (1970)
43. Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing (1974)
44. A Rose Is Still a Rose (1998)
45. Willing to Forgive (1994)
46. Master of Eyes (The Deepness of Your Eyes (1973)
47. Without Love (1974)
48. It Isn’t, It Wasn’t, It Ain’t Never Gonna Be (with Whitney Houston, 1989)
49. Love All the Hurt Away (with George Benson, 1981)
50. My Song (1968)

I Knew You Were Waiting for Me


Awards:

Madonna: Top 60 Songs

Originally posted 3/29/2012. Updated 8/16/2018.

image from aol.com

Happy 60th birthday to Madonna, born 8/16/1958. Here are her top 60 songs, based on chart figures, sales, awards, and placement on best-of lists – both general DMDB lists and Madonna-specific lists.

1. Like a Prayer (1989)
2. Vogue (1990)
3. Like a Virgin (1984)
4. Ray of Light (1998)
5. Into the Groove (1985)

Like a Virgin

6. Music (2000)
7. Papa Don’t Preach (1986)
8. Borderline (1984)
9. Live to Tell (1986)
10. Holiday (1983)

Material Girl

11. Material Girl (1984)
12. Express Yourself (1989)
13. Hung Up (2005)
14. Frozen (1998)
15. Justify My Love (1990)

Papa Don’t Preach

16. La Isla Bonita (1987)
17. Take a Bow (1994)
18. Crazy for You (1985)
19. Open Your Heart (1986)
20. Secret (1994)

Like a Prayer

21. Don’t Tell Me (2000)
22. Beautiful Stranger (1999)
23. Deeper and Deeper (1992)
24. This Used to Be My Playground (1992)
25. Cherish (1989)

Express Yourself

26. True Blue (1986)
27. Lucky Star (1984)
28. 4 Minutes (with Justin Timberlake, 2008)
29. Human Nature (1995)
30. Dress You Up (1985)

31. Erotica (1992)
32. Don’t Cry for Me Argentina (1996)
33. Die Another Day (2002)
34. Who’s That Girl? (1987)
35. The Power of Goodbye (1998)

Vogue

36. What It Feels Like for a Girl (2001)
37. I’ll Remember (1994)
38. You’ll See (1995)
39. Angel (1985)
40. Rain (1993)

Justify My Love

41. Sorry (2006)
42. Keep It Together (1990)
43. Drowned World/Substite for Love (1998)
44. Everybody (1982)
45. Give It 2 Me (2008)

Ray of Light

46. Burning Up (1983)
47. Rescue Me (1990)
48. Me Against the Music (with Britney Spears, 2003)
49. Celebration (2009)
50. Hollywood (2003)

Music

51. Oh Father (1989)
52. American Pie (2000)
53. Causing a Commotion (1987)
54. Miles Away (2008)
55. Get Together (2005)

Hung Up

56. Fever (1992)
57. Bedtime Story (1994)
58. Hanky Panky (1990)
59. You Must Love Me (1996)
60. Nothing Really Matters (1998)


Awards: