So I've been away a bit longer than I intended. The reasons are
A) My computer crashed. Again. But I think I've solved the problem this time (though I'm now in the process of re-installing all the programs I use, plus trying to recover all the files... AAAAARRRRGGHHHH!!!!)
B) I'm buying a house. And that takes a good bit of time.
Anyway, I've been given some great suggestions, and I'm adding a lot of them here. Not all, though. The purpose behind this list is not to collect the best classical music, the most beautiful, the most moving, etc. It's to compile a list of the most famous works (famous by music, not by title). Works that people have probably heard at least once, if they have any exposure to classical music.
For that reason, I'm leaving out one of my favorite composers, and this might lead to a fist-fight with my brother-in-law Ed (I hope not; he'd kick my ass). But I can't think of any Mahler pieces that non-music snobs would recognize. Which is a shame. I don't know - feel free to weigh in on this one, maybe I just need some more voices. Other than the ones in my head. Shut up, Lews Therin!
Anyway, the idea is that if somebody wanted to kinda get a feel for the most mainstream of classical works, this would be the list to go to. We have lists like this for popular music in the dueling pianos world - Brown Eyed Girl, Hotel California, etc.
So here goes round number two.
Prelude in C, Well-Tempered Clavier book one
Air on a G String
Six Suites for Unaccompanied Cello
Toccata and Fugue in Dm
Piano Sonata No. 8 in Cm, Op. 13, (the Pathétique Sonata)
Piano Sonata No. 14 in C#m, Op. 27, No. 2, (the "Moonlight" Sonata) - first movement
Piano Concerto No. 5 in Eb, Op. 73 (the "Emperor Concerto")
Symphony No. 5 in Cm, Op. 67
Symphony No. 9 in Dm, Op. 125
West Side Story
Nocturne in Eb, Op. 9, No. 2
Waltz Op. 64, No. 2 in C#m
Scherzo No. 2 in Bbm, Op. 31
Fantaisie-Impromptu in C#m
Clair de Lune
Slavonic Dances, Op. 46 and Op. 72
Symphony No. 9 in E, "From the New World" (Op. 95, B. 178), (New World Symphony)
Cello Concerto in B minor, Op. 104, B. 191
Requiem in Dm, Op. 48
Suite from Peer Gynt
Piano Concerto in Am, Op. 16
Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2
Liebestraum (No. 3)
"To a Wild Rose" Op. 51, No. 1
Piano Sonata No. 11 in A major, K 331, last movement (Rondo alla Turca)
Sonata in C, K 545, first movement
Piano Concerto No. 21 in C major, K. 467
Le nozze di Figaro
Serenade No. 13 for strings in G, K. 525, (Eine kleine Nachtmusik)
Requiem Mass in D minor K. 626
Ave Verum Corpus
Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 64
Prelude in C#m
Piano Concerto No. 2 in Cm, Op. 18
Piano Concerto No. 3 in Dm, Op. 30
Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini in Am, opus 43
William Tell Overture
The Barber of Seville
Symphony No. 3 in C minor, Op. 78
Gymnopedie No. 1
Six Moments musicaux, D. 780 Op. 94
The Year 1812, Festival overture in Eb, Op. 49 (1812 Overture)
The Piano Concerto No. 1 in Bbm, Op. 23
Ride of the Valkyries
I swear I thought of a dozen more over the last two weeks, but I didn't write them down.
Anyway, I'm having fun with this, and it's making me listen to some great music again, which I should do more often.