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Soulfire77 01-08-2008 07:19 PM

Looking for "Thunderous" Classical Music
I'm talking about really dramatic, upbeat and complex stuff. I'm a complete newb when it comes to classical music, so any help would be appreciated. :thumb:

Braincheese 01-13-2008 03:11 PM

Beethoven. The best. :thumb:

jackhammer 01-15-2008 06:20 PM

Ride Of The Valkyries. You will know it when you hear it!

Enlightened 02-05-2008 01:38 PM

Beethoven is ok, but still a bit sappy and gentle, Mozart has some pretty up beat violin pieces, his third concert is really good.

Seltzer 02-05-2008 05:40 PM

Rachmaninoff - Piano Concerto #3 In D Minor, Op. 30 - 3. Finale Alla Breve

Try the Planets Suite by Holst - beware that it can be a challenging listen though. Stravinsky - Rites of Spring has some thunderous parts. Check out Mendelssohn's symphonies too.

I've only ever heard one 20 second excerpt of Bela Bartok's music, but it was definitely thunderous and enjoyable. I'm getting some right now so I'll get back to you on that,

right-track 02-05-2008 05:42 PM

Mars by Gustav Holst...if that doesn't shit you up, nothing will.

jackhammer 02-16-2008 09:05 AM


Originally Posted by Seltzer (Post 440084)
Try the Planets Suite by Holst - beware that it can be a challenging listen though.

I have'nt heard this for a few years now. I don't even think I have it anymore. Damn I will have to go hunting!

Polly Glott 02-23-2008 07:18 AM

Beethoven's 5:th
Gustav Holst's Planets
Anything from Anton Bruckner...
There's both dramatic, upbeat and complex stuff for ya!

monellia 02-24-2008 02:58 PM

Beethoven and Strauss are good for ye olde thunderous music, and Vivaldi's violin concertos. Try Beethoven's fifth, it's got some v clangourous moments.
Holst's Mars, as someone mentioned (get the whole album btw, it's awesome)
Overture 1812 by Tchaikovsky. Can't beat those chimes :cool:

And there's this part of Sergei Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet ballet suite that always scares the bejesus outa me. Listen to the whole suite, though.

Vandyman 03-03-2008 05:18 AM

Can't go wrong with Rossini

Roivas 04-30-2008 11:01 AM

Jón Leifs / Hekla - [Op 52 (1964) for orchestra and percussion] (Extremely loud. The score calls for the use of anvils, chains, sirens, etc. Will probably seem weird if you're not familiar with modern orchestral music.)

Vagn Holmboe / Symphony No. 8 (Kind of similar to the Nielsen/Sibelius symphonic type of music)

Leoš Janáček / Sinfonietta (Great piece for any new classical listener...upbeat, catchy)

Carl Nielsen / Symphony No. 3 (The first movement is probably exactly what you're looking for)

I can provide more once I get some feedback on these four.

Pianuh Teachuh 06-05-2008 09:52 PM

I will have to try Roivas's list. The Janacek sinfonietta is the only one I recognize - (and that is a cool piece!)

Here is my two-cents' worth:

Beethoven Symph No. 5 (1st movement)

A small part of Beeth Symph No. 6 described a thunder-storm

Mahler had a tendency towards the thunderous. I especially recommend parts of Symphony No. 2

Try Copland's Organ Symphony. (AKA Symphony No. 1 - but I personally prefer the recordings that have ORGAN.)

There is a thunderstorm in Act 2 of John Adams' opera "Nixon in China" that would be worth your time.

The "Dies Irae" of the Verdi Requiem would probably fit the bill. I once saw a percussionist play the bass drum like he was swinging a baseball bat!

Parts of the Carl Nielsen Symphony No. 4 (nicknamed "Inextinguishable" Symphony) could be called thunderous. There are TWO sets of tympani.

I agree with everyone who recommended "Mars, the god of war" from "The Planets" by Holst. A cool little tune in 5/4 time.

You might like the climax from Leonard Bernstein's "Mass" (which was the piece that opened the Kennedy Center in Washington DC).

And, of course, there is the last movement of Grofe's Grand Canyon Suite ... which described in music the sudden thunderstorms that can break out over the canyon. Also try Grofe's "Niagara Falls Suite."

You probably know Bach's "Toccata and Fugue in D minor," but that is the most "thunderous" piece I know from the Baroque era.

Haydn's "Mass in the Time of War" (Missa in tempora belli) sorta comes to mind too.

If you can find a recording of William Bolcom's "Black Host" for organ, percussion and tape, I think you will find that very satisfying too.

Some parts of the "War Requiem" by Benjamin Britain are pretty thunderous, IMHO.

There is my two-cents' worth.

Roivas 06-06-2008 11:27 AM

With Holmboe you'll probably want to start with one of the BIS CDs. Sound quality and performance of those pieces is unmatched at this point in time.

Ghostrider 06-12-2008 08:45 PM

I see there is a complete list of most of my favorite thunderous classical already here, I'll add one more though, Richard Strauss's "Sprauch Zara Thustra" of the most awesome intro's ever written, it does calm down after that though. Oh and give Carl Orff's "Carmina Burana" a listen,,,I'm Positive you've heard the first song of this album but just didn't know it.

Ghostrider 06-13-2008 05:38 AM

Here's another one to think about,,,"The Pines Of Rome" by Ottorino Respighi, it's very accessible especially if you're are just getting into classical music. Look for a version with organ accompaniment it's more stentorian than the regular version. And even though it's not exactly Thunderous,,,give Modesto Moussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition"(Edited by Maurice Ravel) a listen, look for a version with "A Night on Bald Mountain"(Edited by Rimsky-Korsakov) they are usually packaged together. Moussorgksy was probably as famous for his duels as his music, a very flamboyant Russian. One more to consider,,,"Symphony Fantastic" by Hector Berlioz, his most famous work and very accessible as well.

clavis 06-13-2008 11:24 AM


Originally Posted by Soulfire77 (Post 429350)
I'm talking about really dramatic, upbeat and complex stuff. I'm a complete newb when it comes to classical music, so any help would be appreciated. :thumb:

I have a list of my favourite music on my blog: Well, that says it... I play the violin.
Hector Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique
Mousorgsky: Pictures in an Exhibition
Beethoven: Symphony No.6 "Pastorale" (the whole of it)
Beethoven: Symphony No.9 "Chorale" (only the 4th movement if you run out of patience)
Wagner Overtures: Tanhausser, Flying Dutchman, Die Meistersinger
Richard Strauss: Don Juan
Tchaikovsky: Nutcracker ballet suite (selection, highlights)
Rimsky-Korsakov: Sheherazade

I trust these should get you started. All are quite melodious, with catchy tunes. If they are not "complex" enough for you, I can come up with more later. :)

Ghostrider 06-14-2008 06:27 PM

I forgot to mention the most thunderous recording ever made, it's already listed but the Telarc Soundstream vinyl album of Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture is Awesome...I'll dig it out of my closet and post a picture of the album itself,,,this is as close to a zero hertz analogue frequency ever recorded on a record.(I'm not counting sound effects test records, just real music, symphonies etc.) In fact I had to replace one of my woofers which I destroyed by playing this album too loud many many years ago. LOL,,,it came with a warning "Danger do not play this record too Loud, it will damage your equipment!", of course being young and having a few drinks led to me blowing out my speaker. It may have been equaled now with DVD technology but back in the early 80's there was nothing like it period.

clavis 06-18-2008 12:10 PM

Haha... on the note of 1812 destroying speaker... I used to be in an orchestra, and we performed 1812 in an outdoor environment. No we didn't use cannons, just bass drums (in substitute as cannons). She managed to break the drum skin. It made a "crack" sound, and we were all very surprised by that, and saw the percussionists all had a shocked expression on their face, while the bass-drummer quickly recovered and turned the drum over to hit on the other side... right on time for the next entry. :)

Ghostrider 06-19-2008 07:13 PM

Haha that's pretty cool Clavis,,,was your percussionist taking supplements or something?? When I played my vinyl recording the first time in my Dad's basement, both of our neighbors came running over to see what was happening,,,LOL,,,one of them thought we had an explosion of some kind, and the other one was in his basement and when the biggest canon fired,,,his tool board fell off his basement wall and he thought for a minute there was an earthquake. After that my Dad wouldn't let me play it except at very low volume.

Loonatic 11-16-2008 10:02 PM

My favorites:
Beethoven - 3rd part of Moonlight Sonata
Chopin - Revolutionary Etude

Camille Saint-Saens - Danse Macabre
Edvard Grieg - In The Hall of the Mountain King (from Peter Gynt)
Modeste Moussorgsky - Night on Bald Mountain
Gounod - Faust - Act2. 04 Le veau d'or est toujours debout (mephistopheles aria). I love the phrase "people die for metal", so poeticly devilish.
Alan Silvestri - Journey To Transylvania (from soundtrack)
Shinjuku Thief - Sacred Fury (avant-garde, but fairly easy to listen to)
Alfred Schnittke - Koncherto-Grosso #1 (28 minutes of avant-garde, not easy to listen to, but very beautiful)
Mahavishnu Orchestra - Birds of Fire (avant-garde jazz, but close to classical)

If you're playing the piano, here are two simple parts that are really fun to play march-style:
Michal Oginski - Polonez Rodina 3rd part
Fur Elise 3rd part
They don't sound like it on recordings, since nobody plays them like that (except me, I guess). I think the best thing about those 3rd parts is that you can play angry. :D

Astronomer 11-18-2008 04:37 PM

There's a song that I love to play on piano called "L'Orage" (which means "The Storm") and its composer is Burgmüller. Find a good version of it though, because when played with passion it's very 'thunderous.'

Akira 11-18-2008 04:45 PM


Originally Posted by Enlightened (Post 440002)
Beethoven is ok, but still a bit sappy and gentle, Mozart has some pretty up beat violin pieces, his third concert is really good.


PartisanRanger 11-18-2008 11:18 PM

I don't know about "thunderous", but Mozart's Symphony No. 25 and Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto in E Minor are definitely dramatic and upbeat.

mannny 11-28-2008 03:10 PM

Liszt has a lot of piano works that are very dramatic. Listen to his Hungarian Rhapsodies and transcendental etudes, especially No. 10 in f minor.

This is one of my favorite interpretations of Liszt. And it is definetly "thunderous".
Georges Cziffra - Liszt's Etude No. 10 in f minor

ais_russell 07-07-2010 06:37 PM

Definatley Overture 1812!
I play it in the band im in twice a year, we start halfway through the piece [as its too long for a band of my type!] And it starts with mellow sounds, then gradually builds up to the epic ending which everyone has heard!

P.s. also one of the hardest things to play on a bass clarinet - notes are too high for my poor bass's liking!

kotzen 07-08-2010 01:33 AM


Originally Posted by PartisanRanger (Post 547975)
I don't know about "thunderous", but Mozart's Symphony No. 25 and Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto in E Minor are definitely dramatic and upbeat.

there are arangements for wind band that feature expanded percusion(the 25th. the arrangement i last saw was nothing short of thunderous. how has nobody here mentioned the rites of spring?

derek 07-09-2010 06:51 PM

How about this? Camina Burana--O Fortuna

imrighterthanyouis 07-10-2010 11:17 PM

i dont know if any of his stuff will be quite as "thunderous" as you might want... but ive really been getting into Dvorak lately and most of his music is pretty upbeat.

DreamTheater 07-18-2010 11:25 PM

Hmm try Abraham's Pursuit by David Holsinger, Choreography by Robert Sheldon, or Danzas Cubanas by Robert Sheldon. Danzas Cubanas is really awesome, lol.

Zaqarbal 08-15-2010 03:51 AM

I don't know if this is exactly "thunderous", but I would add Love, the Magician by Manuel de Falla, and especially the 5th and 8th movements (Dance of Terror and Ritual Fire Dance, respectively):

EDIT: Ops! I forgot to mention Carmen's Overture by Bizet!!! :banghead: Sorry. Here you are:

Duncaaaaaan 08-17-2010 01:27 PM

Thunder and Lightning polka - Strauss Jr

Alot of stuff by strauss is very upbeat, rousing and thunderous.

davey75 09-28-2010 04:35 AM

You simply cannot go wrong with Respighi's raucous Roman Festivals - it has been described by some as vulgar, because it is mostly so upbeat, loud and boisterous, but that's all part of the fun of what is a seriously skillful 20-minute score. You will hear lots of imitations of this in later Hollywood epics (such as Ben Hur). Respighi got there first!

And has anyone here mentioned Stravinsky's seminal Rite of Spring - possibly the most influential 20th century classical score?

Bacholyte 07-16-2013 10:21 AM

How about Shostakovich's 5th symphony? Dramatic, always. Upbeat? Not always, but the last movement certainly is.

Among old chestnuts, of course we should remember Tchaikovsky's 1812 overture, where the triumphant ending can include firing a cannon. Would that be thunderous enough? ;-)

jekluc 08-11-2013 03:27 PM

If you have ever heard Bach's major keyboard pieces played on a good GERMAN harpsichord, the kind with the crashing sound and powerful bass -- that is thunderous. Unfortunately, you usually hear them played on pianos, which is nice but which they were not intended for, or on French harpsichords, which sound like tinkling fairy dust.

Zack 08-14-2013 09:27 PM

How "Classical" are we talking?

Very Classical, try some of the Beethoven Symphonies, 5th or 9th, perhaps. And of course, the 1812 overture, as mentioned. I mean, c'mon, it's got CANNONS.

Pretty Classical, I'd say Holts's Planets, specifically Mars or Jupiter, and Stravinsky's Rite of Spring.

All these have been mentioned, and for good reason.

For a broader examination of over-the top craziness and smashing in classical music try G.F. Haas's "In Vain." There's a section that is like, FIVE minutes of Tam-tam smashes. Just be forewarned, it's not pop-classical, and it's about an hour of very-intense music. I love it.


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