P.I. Tchaikovsky- "Capriccio Italien".
Hector Berlioz- "Simphonie Funebre et Triomphale".
Aaron Copland- "Fanfare For the Common Man".
Not classical: Patricia Barber- Cafe Blue, 'Mourning Grace'.
Maybe Tutti!, the Reference Recordings CD (#RR-906CD) would be a good one to try. I have it, and there are a decent number of cymbals involved. It's also HDCD, if your CD player can decode it.
Borodin - Polovtsian Dances, from Prince Igor
Rimsky Korsakov - Capriccio Espagnol, Scheherazade shipwreck scence
Tchaikovsky - Capricio Italien (mentioned above), closing of Trepak movement (Russian dance) from Nutcracker
Mussorgsky - Gates of Kiev, final movement from Pictures at an Exhibition
I see a pattern here.....Russian music!
Also you can buy many versions of Rimsky-Korsakov "Sheherazade" which has great Cymbal clashes in the shipwreck movement, that is paired with Borodin's Polovtsian Dances, double the cymbal pleasure!
If you are mainly interested in getting best possible sound
for this pair, try the Telarc label version with Mackerras/London Symphony Orch., has great dynamic range.
Do NOT recommend you play Mega's Telarc (Mackerras/LSO) too loud (esp. part 4) !!!
I could also suggest Mahler 2 & 5 (a small departure from the Russian masters).
There are recordings by 20th century composer Fritz Hauser.
There are multiple pieces for Timpani and Cymbals and some with Organ, Timpani, Cymbals and Drums.
Either of the caprices--Spanish (Korsakov) or Italian (Tchaikovsky), are good picks. My first choice however is "The Ring Without Words" from the Wagner ring cycle. The percussion moves towards you in the third or fourth track if I remember correctly and is very dynamic throughout. If you can't find one email me and I'll look for a copy.
Please, when dealing with classical music mention the orchestra and conductor! Musicians do.....
Good point, Jonesy, but I think in this case all the conductors allowed the cymbalist (?) to make noise. If someone's looking for great performances of these works, Fanfare is well represented by Bernstein in the late 50's vinyl and Telarc CD conducted by Louis Lane, the Berlioz is rare and found only, as far as I know on a Philips CD 442 290-2 Sir Colin and the LSO although I remember hearing a recording with the Concertgebouw and Haitink once. The gun's and roses, err, cannons are of course on Mercury, Minneapolis with Antal Dorati. A really great Pictures is on Sony, the Concertgebouw with Guilini which also has the Firebird. I have a special fondness, though, for the Cleveland with Szell on Columbia because in those days the percussionist was Clyde Duff; 6'-2", long snow-white hair and a deadpan expression that would have done justice to a hard throwing relief pitcher.
Copied from the grammophone site,
"Wagner Der Ring des Nibelungen – orchestral highlights. Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra / Lorin Maazel.
Telarc (CD) CD80154 (70 minutes: DDD)..................
The title of this CD is "The Ring Without Words" and it comprises a series of linked episodes from all four Ring operas—what in times past might have been described as a 'symphonic metamorphosis'—and although each section is left as Wagner scored it, the dovetailing is not always wholly convincing. In the accompanying notes the excerpts are given a colloquial narrative description relating to each of the 20 tracks.
The recording, made in the Philharmonie Berlin, is undoubtedly spectacular in its vividness yet there is an element of fierceness in the more vehement climaxes. We discover the limitations of this studio-based evocation in the early Das Rheingold sections, when the "hammering dwarfs smithying away" sound like a collective of glockenspiels (rather Disneyesque in effect) while Donner's thunderbolt produces a huge, almost bizarre drum explosion. Later in Die Walkure the Valkyries ride excitingly enough and Wotan makes a passionately romantic farewell to his daughter, with the Berlin strings creating a movingly powerful climax. Yet at times there is a hint of coarseness in the sound-picture, unexpected from a Telarc source, though it suits Maazel's rather aggressive pressing on in Siegfried's Rhine Journey and it certainly gives great impact to Hagen's call and Siegfried's Funeral Music.
In short, while there may be a place for a selection like this in the catalogue (though it would be better extracted from Solti's complete Decca set), it would not find a niche in my personal collection. But audiophiles who like blazingly spectacular sound and plenty of adrenalin flowing in the music-making, should find this worth trying. Certainly the heavy brass sounds are very tangible.
Symphonic Poem No.3 (Lamartine) has lots of wonderful orchestral climaxes with cymbals...you can tell he was a buddy of Wagner from this one. Berlin/Von Karajan ('67) is a great performance but DG could have done much better engineering it.
One of my favorite audiophile test CD's is Vladamir Ashkenazy conducting the Concertgebouw orchestra in Rachmaninov's Isle of the Dead and Symphonic Dances.
The first piece (Isle of the Dead) is great at checking out the Bass response of your speakers. The second piece, Symphonic Dances, are very energetic pieces that can test the rhythm, pace and overall dynamics of your speakers. It also has a wide variety of orchestral instrumentation that can test the tonal quality and balance of the various instruments. There are also several loud orchestral climaxes that can test if your speakers deal with high-energy congested passeges well or if they "break-up" during fortissimo's. And on top of all the testing help, it is great, atmospheric music conducted and performed at a very high level. Recording quality is excellent also.
I believe this is available at mid-price ($10) on the London label.