Excellent thread idea Peter!
I also commend you on your excellent taste.
My favorite music is classical. Classical is a broad category, covering everything from opera to chamber music to full orchestra symphonies. Within classical, my favorite genre is the sacred oratorio. Handel's Messiah
is an example. Bach's St. Matthew's Passion
is another. My absolute favorite, however, is Haydn's The Creation
. Haydn was the true master of classical music. He was Beethoven's (unappreciated) teacher, and perhaps the only composer other than himself that Mozart unquestionably respected and admired (he once earned an enemy of another composer, who had snottily said about part of one of Haydn's pieces "I wouldn't have written it that way", by responding "Neither would I - neither you nor I would have thought of it"). He wrote countless excellent string quartets and symphonies, but The Creation
is his masterpiece.
This video contains the highlights of The Creation
There is the unforgettable creation of light in the first day, the "the heavens declare the glories of God and the firmament displays His handiwork" chorus that brings the first Part to a close, and the love duet by Adam and Eve in the Garden in Part III.
Two other parts of The Creation
that are especially good are "Von Diener Güt o Herr und Gott" from Part III (Adam, Eve, and the chorus of angels sing thanks to God):
and the stretch of Part II that begins with "Und Die Engel" and ends with "Der Herr ist groß in seiner Macht":
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Zye7ELE ... 1&index=11
is music for all occasions. If you feel joyful and wish to praise your Creator, there is no better music. If you feel depressed, this music is the cure.