Symphonic Poem Music Recordings and Sheet Music

A symphonic poem, or tone poem, is a single movement piece written for large orchestral forces, conceived to evoke the contents of a non musical source (for example a painting, or a text). The genre reconciles drama and music without actually employing sung or spoken text. Symphonic poems come from the perceived stagnation of the traditional symphony form: after the immense success of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, many composers turned to shorter forms, like the concert overture. This allowed them to continue compose in a symphonic language while still avoiding to be perceived as 'under the shadow' of Beethoven's work. The genre also lent itself to extra-musical narration. Franz Liszt took this a step further and came up with a new form that allowed him to write pieces as complex as a Symphony's first movement, yet displaying a stronger structural cohesion and reflecting an extra musical program. He made use of the cyclic writing and thematic development methods, found in some of Beethoven's work. This form was quickly adopted by composer, and remained popular until the 20th century, when the rejection of Romantic ideals caused a steep decline in its popularity.

Title Composer Instrument Period Ratings
2 Cantatas, Op.31 Max Bruch Orchestra Romantic
3 Poèmes Juifs Ernest Bloch Orchestra Early 20th Century
4 Tone Poems after Arnold Böcklin, Op.128 Max Reger Orchestra Romantic
A Fragment from Apocalypse, Op.66 Anatoly Lyadov Orchestra Romantic
A Hero's Song, Op.111 Antonín Dvořák Orchestra Romantic
A Song before Sunrise Frederick Delius Orchestra Romantic
Also sprach Zarathustra, Op.30 Richard Strauss Orchestra Romantic
Amangeldy, Op.22 Xinghai Xian Orchestra 20th Century
An American in Paris George Gershwin Orchestra Early 20th Century
At Twilight, Op.39 Zdeněk Fibich Orchestra Romantic
Au rouet, Op.13 Eugène Ysaÿe Solo Instrument(s) and Orchestra Early 20th Century
Auf der Wartburg, Op.29 August Bungert Orchestra Romantic
Aus Italien, Op.16 Richard Strauss Orchestra Romantic
Aus Odysseus' Fahrten, Op.6 Ernst Boehe Orchestra Romantic
Aux étoiles Henri Duparc Orchestra Romantic
Baba Yaga, Op.56 Anatoly Lyadov Orchestra Romantic
Balsazar, Op.12 Paul Ertel Orchestra Romantic
Carnival Scene, Op.5 Arthur H. Bird Orchestra Romantic
Ce qu'on entend sur la montagne, S.95 Franz Liszt Orchestra Romantic
Chant d'Hiver, Op.15 Eugène Ysaÿe Solo Instrument(s) and Orchestra Early 20th Century