Suggestions, please...

Can anyone give me some suggestions for expanding my knowledge of classical music?

I tend to prefer Vivaldi, Mozart, Saint-Saens, Rachmaninoff, Gershwin (I know Rachmaninoff and Gershwin aren't technically "classical"), and some Chopin. I will be up front and say I hate Wagner and Copeland, and am not too keen on Mahler, either. Not much of a Beethoven fan, except for parts of the 7th and 9th.

I am interested in learning works of some other composers, though, so I would appreciate any suggestions.

Bach's Brandenburg Concerto's are a good standard
Thank you...I forgot to mention that one. Are there any other works by Bach you'd suggest (besides the "Tocatta Fugue in D Minor)?

I know nothing of Brahms, either.

How about Respighi's "Ancient Airs and Dances"? The Mercury recording is available in both mediums. Bach's "Cello Suites" are very nice, as are the "Goldberg Variations", especially Glenn Gould's reading of them.
Please list the particular pieces of compositions that you like from your list of composers.
Rachmaninoff not classical??
If he lived in 20th century id doesn't mean that he's not classical. He is by all his means and ways to write music and so is Prokofiev, Skryabin...
Alphred Schnittke is another story...

Vivaldi-"The Four Seasons" and "Gloria"

Saint-Saens-"The Swan" and "Danse Macabre"

Rachmaninoff-Piano Conc. 2, Piano Conc. 3, Variations on a Theme from Paganini

Gershwin-everything, but "Rhapsody in Blue" is my favorite.

Slipknot1-Ancient Airs and Dances sounds interesting...I will have to check that out. I've heard of the "Goldberg Variations" but don't know if I actually know them.

Marakanetz-I said that because I had a piano teacher who constantly corrected my for saying he was "classical."

Thank you everyone!
The piano teacher was technically correct. "Classical music" is music of the classical era while Rachmaninov was of the "romantic" era. We tend to use the term "classical" to cover several eras.
You could ease into baroque with concertos by Handel, Vivaldi, Bach and Albinoni. Analekta has a good disc of Vivaldi string concertos with Angèle Dubeau and her Stradivarius. They also have a killer Handel recording with Karina Gauvin, listen to a snatch here:

UHF magazine's Analekta page

You might also like Purcell, the more joyous things with brass to start with (Odes and Welcome Songs), and Haydn, the cello concertos maybe. There are millions of recordings of these, my favourite being the one with Iona Brown conducting and Truls Mork on the cello (Virgin).

I also think solo piano is a good way to get to know a composer. Listening to pieces from different periods, from Bach to Keith Jarrett, you get a feel for how different times led composers to work with the same limits in different ways. It's amazing how contemporary a Haydn piano sonata can sound.

Oh, and don't forget the late Schubert trios.
...meaning Baroque being not classical either?
Marakanetz, is Baroque classical ? Some says yes, some says no, some says I'm off topic, some says I ain't ;o) Hope it helps old Fab4fan...
Checkout BBC on the web. It is one of the best free web resource you'll ever come across. It is like getting a free classical music appreciation course taught by some of the best in the biz. Their achieve runs from Bach to Walton and everything in between.

Baroque is when you have no Monet.
Quote by Tobais: "Hope it helps old Fab4fan..."

Hey, who are you calling old! LOL!

Thank you all for your suggestions. That piano teacher I had was a bit of a purist. Once I was working on a section of "Rhapsody In Blue" and I couldn't quite get it so I sort of "fudged" it. When I finished she said, "That was lovely, now would you mind playing what's on the page?"

"Baroque is when you have no Monet"...that would make a great signature line.

Please feel free to keep the suggestions coming...I'm eager to learn.
OK, to be serious, you must get Rachmaninov's Symphonic Dances on Reference Recordings. A gorgeous piece of music and a terrific recording. A rare combination.
Given what you've listed, here are some works by other composers that you might like.

Debussy: Afternoon of a Faun, Pelleas et Melisande, Images pour orchestra, La Mer, piano music (esp. as played by Ivan Moravec)

Chabrier: Danse Slave, Espana (Ansermet or Paray)

Charpentier: Arts Florissants (Christie/Les Arts Florissants)

Corelli: Conc Grossi, op6,1-6 (McGegan/PhilBarO/HarMundi)

Rutter: Gloria

Dvorak: Serenade for Strings (Marriner/ASMF), Symphony #9 (From the New World) (Kertesz/LSO)

Grieg: Piano Concerto (if you liked the Rachmaninov...)(Boult/LSO, Curzon -pf)

Handel: if you enjoy Vivaldi and Bach's Brandenburg Concertos, you might try exploring a little Handel. Try his Water Music or Music for the Royal Fireworks (I like performances by Pinnock and by Gardiner with period instruments, but Dorati is good on Mercury in the Fireworks)

Kodaly: Hary Janos Suite (Kertesz.LSO), Galanta Dances (Kertesz/LSO), Peacock Variations (Dorati/PhilHungarica) - if you enjoy large scale Rachmaninov, the Kodaly will be worth exploring.

Nielsen: Saga Drom, Symphony #5 - worth a shot if you enjoy some of the others listed here. (Horenstein on Nonesuch)

Poulenc: Gloria, for Soprano Solo, Chorus & Orch (Pretre/FNRO, Carteri on EMI)

Prokofiev: Scythian Suite (Dorati/LSO or Skrowaczewski/MinnO, Lt. Kije (Reiner/CSO)

Ravel: Alborada del Gracioso, Pavane pour une Infante Defunte, Ma Mère l'Oye, Valses nobles et sentimentales (Skrowaczewski/MinnO or Paray, among others)

Gershwin: Since you like Gershwin, try the EMI recording with Andre Previn and the LSO for Rhapsody in Blue, American in Paris and Piano Concerto in F for luscious performance in an excellent recording by the two Christophers.

Bach: For the Brandenburg Concertos, try Trevor Pinnock and the English Consort on Archiv. For additional music by Bach, try his Triple Concerto, BWV 1044, with the same forces. The Violin Concertos are well worth exploring (BWV 1041-1043).

I am assuming you've well explored the music of the composers you've listed, but if not, we can offer some suggestions for additional music from those composers.
Rushton: Wow...thank you for taking so much time to respond. As I read the list, I realized I did know some of the composers you mentioned, but many are new to me, so thank you.

I'll have to check out that recording of "Rhapsody..." I am pretty partial to the Bernstein version, but then again, he's my favorite conductor, so...

I've heard Michael Tilson Thomas (?) perform "Rhapsody" hardly sounds like the same piece of music, to me anyway.

Thanks again. I appreciate everyone's suggestions. Keep them coming!
Fab4fan, I wondered if you'd call me on that... you can call me old if you like, as in "Good old Tobias." ;o) ( I'll be a senior citizen soon enough. Like Paul Simon says, God is old, we're not. )

Rushton, that's a great list. I myself was going to suggest Kodaly for the Rachmaninov-loving Fab but I couldn't think of anything orchestral, ho ho ho. My cultural veneer is very thin, I think. Thanks and hats off to you.
hi fab 4.. how 'bout string quartets-you might like some of haydns performed by the kodally string quartet. they're cheap to buy and the musicians are great (on naxos). op.76 is nice. then you can move up to beethovens :) i hope you don't dismiss beethoven- have you heard his violin concerto? hilary hahns is good and you'd get a bernstein serenade as well. also to break into mahler you might go with symphony 4 which is awesome and maybe not as 'heavy' when you think of mahler. a classic is szells with the cleveland orchestra (& again, cheap to buy) i really like bernsteins 4th as well and you get digital sound. sorry to be brining up some stuff you're not fond of, BUT in my opinion bernstein doing coplands apalachin spring is one of our great "classical" recordings.. i only mention it as you like bernstein :) good thread fab4..