After some holiday listening, reading, and cogitating I have revised my list of 101 essential pieces of 20th century concert music. The list is not intended to be comprehensive, a "best of" list, or even to comprise the most essential pieces. It is, rather, intended to be a list of pieces that, taken as a whole, convey the essence of 20th century concert music in its richness and variety.

Pieces deleted:

Bernstein: Symphonic Dances from West Side Story
Carter: String Quartet 1
Copland: Appalachian Spring
Hindemith: Mathis der Maler
Maw: Odyssey
Part: Tabula Rasa
Puccini: Turandot
Schoenberg: Five Pieces, Op. 23
Shostakovich: Symphony 5
Tavener: Thunder Entered Her
Vaughan Williams: London Symphony

Pieces added:

Bernstein: Suite from On the Waterfront
Bolcom: Songs of Innocence and Experience
Carter: String Quartet 5
Copland: Piano Variations
Daugherty: Metropolis Symphony
Hindemith: Six Chansons
Hyla: We Speak Etruscan
Part: Passio Domini nostri Jesu Christi secundum Johannem
Rautavaara: Symphony 7
Saariaho: Nymphea (Jardin secret III)
Shostakovich: Lady MacBeth of Mtsensk

The complete list is at the bottom of the page.


  1. I think this rounds out the list really well. Looks like you had a fun holiday!

  2. It was a good holiday. Thanks. I was unhappy with how the end of the century was reflected in the list. I think this catches it better. Thanks for your earlier suggestions.

  3. Good replacement on the Hindemith. I prefer him when he's in a French mood. (That wasn't often enough, alas.)