Total agreement. My listening favors Twentith Century and Baroque. I tired of the Romantic era and its huge ensembles several decades ago. I still enjoy Classical. Here is to sixteen piece orchestras, quartets, duos and solo works.
I admit that I have found serious Jazz to be the equal of "Classical" in every respect. Plus, it never banished improvisation. "Classical" has been impoverished in that department ever since cadenzas were written out. They used to be solo, improvised and in free time. All elements missing for more than a century.
Some (rare) musicians still improvise at least parts of cadenzas. But these days, if you want to hear any classical music (in a sense) with improvisation, find a good organist.
This is unrelated to improvisation, but actually, for anybody with any interest in orchestral works, particularly for some weary of the 100+ piece groupings, I would recommend looking at the works since the 50s for wind ensemble (starting in the middle of Frederick Fennell's time at Eastman, and so on). There's a whole lot you can do when you take an orchestra and cut out the violas strings, add saxophone and baritone. Well, a large part of it is the music that was written, not necessarily the instrumentation.
Edited by mikeaj - 8/25/12 at 1:56pm