Top 50 Favorite/Best Classical – Honorable Mention – Desmond Take Five

When I revise this Top 50, this piece by Paul Desmond, and played by the Dave Brubeck Band will be added in the Top 50, because it is just so amazing, particularly the recording they did for video, which I’ll link below. Highly HIGHLY recommend. This piece, for now is an honorable mention in my Top 50 Favorite/Best Classical. 

Paul Desmond created this piece for the Dave Brubeck band. The band, having recently visited Eurasia, were inspired by the odd and different time signatures used in a lot of the Eastern European countries. Most of the songs on the Time Out album are in unique time signatures. Take Five references the time signature, which in this case is 5/4. Taken at a fairly fast pace, the song flows between Ebm and Bbm7 ostinato on the piano and bass while the alto saxophone flies softly on a gorgeous melody. 

My first encounter with the piece was actually with the 1998 film “Pleasantville” which used the piece as a throwback to the late 50s era they were satirizing. It’s used to great effect in this scene, as you can see.

There’s not much else to add. The magic of the piece occurs with the performers adding in fantastic solos, extending the music as much as they can see fit. Enjoy the live recording version below!

#19 – Liszt Les Preludes, S. 97

#20 – Mozart Le Nozze di Figaro, K. 492

#21 – Tchaikovsky Swan Lake, Op. 20 

#22 – Mahler Symphony No. 2 in C minor

#23 – Tchaikovsky String Quartet No. 1 in D major, Op. 11

#24 – Williams Empire Strikes Back

#25 – Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 5 in Eb major, Op. 73

#26 – Bernstein West Side Story

#27 – Enescu – Octet for Strings in C major, Op. 7

#28 – Shostakovich String Quartet No. 8 in C minor, Op. 110

#29 – Mussorgsky Night on Bald Mountain

#30 – Webber Phantom of the Opera

#31 – Prokofiev Alexander Nevsky

#32 – Chopin Nocturne in Bb minor, Op. 9, No. 1

#33 – Debussy Images, Book 1, L110

#34 – Debussy Pour Le Piano, L. 95

#35 – Chaminade Guitare, Op. 32

#36 – Chopin Berceuse in Db major, Op. 57

#37 – Boulanger Nocturne pour violon et piano

#38 – Schönberg Les Miserables

#39 – Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18

#40 – Miranda Hamilton

#41 – Strauss Salomé

#42 – Britten Peter Grimes

#43 – Loewe My Fair Lady

#44 – Liszt Mephisto Waltzes

#45 – Webber Evita

#46 – Poledouris Conan The Barbarian

#47 – Bernstein Trouble in Tahiti

#48 – Beethoven Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67

#49 – Chaminade La Lisonjera, Op. 50

#50 – Beethoven Coriolan Overture, Op. 62

Honorable Mention

Desmond Take Five

Wagner Die Walküre 

Puccini Tosca

Davis So What

Stravinsky Petroushka 

Wagner Tristan Und Isolde

Tchaikovsky Serenade for Strings

Williams Raiders of the Lost Ark

Verdi Aïda

Schoenberg Verklärte Nacht

Grisey Les espaces acoustiques

Gade – Octet for 4 violins, 2 violas, 2 violoncellos in F major, Op. 17

Schubert – Symphony No. 8 in B minor, D759

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