The one hundred and fifty-first classical recording: #353 Franz Liszt - A Faust Symphony

Putting interpretations of the meaning of the different movements aside - Wikipedia has you covered on that - Liszt's Faust Symphony is a work of contrasts and combatting music. The first movement is a bombastic piece, fitting in with what you expect of the bigger orchestras and fitting with Faust's general persona. It's followed by a slightly shorter, more gentle movement that represents Gretchen, the love interest. It jumps to Mephistopheles' chaotic third movement, an aggressive piece occasionally interrupted by Gretchen's unwavering, gentle theme. It's a story that doesn't come through until the symphony's final movement, but it tells its basic story so well that it becomes a pay off even without fully looking at the story behind the work.