10 greatest symphonic poems

This playlist contains 10 of the greatest symphonic poems.

What is the symphonic poem?

A symphonic poem or tone poem is a piece of orchestral music, usually in a single continuous movement. Symphonic poems illustrate or evoke the content of a poem, short story, novel, painting, landscape, or other (non-musical) source. The German term Tondichtung (tone poem) appears to have been first used by the composer Carl Loewe in 1828. The Hungarian composer Franz Liszt first applied the term Symphonische Dichtung to his 13 works in this vein.

We can say: symphonic poem is a musical realizing of a “literary principle”, it gave more creative freedom to composers, as it focused more on extra-musical perceptions than on the formal rules that were the basis of a symphony.

Also listen: Unforgettable melodies from symphonies 

  1. Rachmaninoff - Isle of the Dead, Op. 29, Mikhail Pletnev, Russian National Orchestra
  2. Debussy: Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune ∙ hr-Sinfonieorchester ∙ Andrés Orozco-Estrada
  3. Jean Sibelius - Finlandia
  4. Liszt: 'Mazeppa' / Zubin Mehta (1994)
  5. R.Strauss: 'Don Juan' / Sawallisch Philadelphia Orchestra (1999 Movie Live)
  6. Dvořák The Noon Witch op.108
  7. Tchaikovsky: Romeo & Juliet / Gergiev · London Symphony Orchestra · BBC Proms 2007
  8. Mendelssohn Overture 'The Hebrides' | Sir John Eliot Gardiner
  9. Rimsky-Korsakov Scheherazade Symphonic Poem, State Youth Orchestra of Armenia & Sergey Smbatyan
  10. Smetana: Vltava (The Moldau) - Stunning Performance


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