Sibelius: En Saga, Finlandia, Tapiola, Swan of Tuonela, Oceanides
I keep forgetting that Sibelius is one of my favorite composers. Even trying to listen to this CD on my iPod on the subway with all kinds of competing noise, it was mind-boggling.
If you liked The Lord of the Rings you would love this music. I don't know why they didn't use it for the movie soundtrack; it is spine-tingling. En Saga is my favorite, but Tapiola is right up there--I always imagine walking in a big scary forest in Finland and happening upon a monstrous spirit-being...which is sort of what the piece is about. Scariest. Music. Ever. So if you like being scared, Tapiola is the sort of thing you'd like.
Don't get me wrong, though, it's also insanely beautiful. As are all the other pieces on the recording. It's very high Romantic style, but with a edge to it.
[Note I have started a rating system. I Y this particular recording five Ys.]