An Interactive Site to Identify the Most Beautiful Musical Compositions of Each Country

Welcome music lovers! Please join the discussion, vote, and offer suggestions for what you think are the most beautiful musical compositions of each country in the world. See my initial posting for the rules of the game. Then click on the country label (on the right side) and use "Comment" to offer your thoughts, votes or suggestions about the music of that country. To suggest candidate compositions, please provide the title and composer of the piece and, if possible, a link to an audio or video sample of the music. Once a number of nominations are received for a country, I will create a "poll" for people to vote on their favorite

Friday, April 15, 2011

Russia's Most Beautiful Music

Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky, Rimsky-Korsakov? Russia poses as many challenges as Germany (Beethoven, Mozart, Bach?) in that there is so much gorgeous classical music from that country. Simply trying to pick a single "best" piece from Tchaikovsky's repertoire is impossible. Plus, we've got beautiful music from Mussorgsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Stravinksy, Prokofiev, Borodin, Shostakovich, etc. etc.

I would pick one of several pieces by Tchaikovsky as the most beautiful music from Russia, including his Piano Concerto No. 1, his Symphony No. 6 (Pathetique), and his ballet music from Swan Lake or Nutcracker.

But for me, the most beautiful piece of music from Russia is Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto in D, especially the first movement. In that movement, about two-thirds of the way in, there is an achingly beautiful moment where the violin gives way to the flute. You have to hear it!

I will embed a version of the first movement here, and then Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade (Symphonic suite, op. 35)which been nominated as the most beautiful piece of Russian music by Joan Ballard in San Diego.

Feel free to add further nominations (using the "Comment" button below), and to vote on your favorites.

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