Here's a list of the worst pieces to take a classical music novice to see:
Benjamin Britten: War Requiem [death and destruction set to really loud, really LONG music, with words by a poet killed during World War One]
Igor Stravinsky: Oedipus Rex [eyes gouged out--you wish it was your ears instead]
Anton Bruckner: Symphony No. 8 [the slow movement can be compared to prayer or even sex--but not for those who fall asleep halfway through an uninterrupted 27 minute crescendo of astonishing intensity]
This is more or less a listing of pieces to which I took my wife before and during our now-terminated marriage. She actually enjoyed Prokofiev Pf. Concerto No. 3, but I can't claim credit--Dave's parent's couldn't use their tickets. My ex-wife had other issues, but perhaps you sympathize with her, and even admire her patience.....
More recent mistakes:
Wagner: Mild und Leise (Mild and Soft)Simple title, intense piece...where have I heard thatbefore.... So, I listen to it with a woman I just met,and later, in my casual ignorance, call it "Our Song." Are you laughing yet? This is more commonly known as"Liebestod" or "Death by Love" where Isolde pours out her soul before dying from the intensity of her love for Tristan. Not recommended as first date listening.
Yes, a human being (that would be me) has actually made all these mistakes. Never a dull moment, eh? Oh, the list should also include a piece neither my ex nor I ever heard in concert:
Bela Bartok "Bluebeard's Castle"
Why is this a masterpiece? And why do I have TWO recordings of it? Please leave your comments below. It's getting lonely around here... even though I really like the Bruckner 8th on iTunes