Top Ten Pieces of Classical Music
Discover a world of beauty.
We've all heard their names, Mozart, Beethoven, and Bach. Some of us might remember listening to those baby Mozart or Beethoven cd's when we were small. They are played in movies, commercials and cartoons (Tom and Jerry). But who are the men and women who stand behind these masterpieces?
*Note: I wrote the first part of my introduction before making this lens. Now that I'm finished I feel so much closer and well acquainted with these genius, tragic, bizarre, beautiful composers.
I hope you will too.
Photo Credit: Flickr
Classical Music: Yes or No?
Do you like classical music?
Recommended: best of the classical world. - The best of the best.
Now that you've gotten aqainted with some of the great masters of classical music, why don't you try out some more?
200 should last you a lifetime.
enjoy, relax, and admire.
10. Orpheus In The Underworld: Infernal Galop - You don't know his name but you know his music.
A German-born French composer, cellist and impresario of the romantic period.
He was born the 17th child to a cantor at the local synagogue. Offenbach began to compose music at age 6 and gave his first concert at age 12.
He composed 100 operettas in his lifetime.
He is still known for his overtures, a few songs from his famous operettas, and a very famous can-can! (Check out the video)
Orpheus In The Underworld: Infernal Galop
Did you know?
People Underestimated Offenbach. During his lifetime, and in the obituary notices in 1880 critics stated that his music would be forgotten.The Times Predicted : "It is very doubtful whether any of his works will survive."
9. Also Sprach Zarathustra - The song played in only every movie!
Strauss's father was a professional horn player who taught his son music early on.
This little composer began music at age 6 (talk about genius..) and performed his first symphony at age 17!
At 21 he became the conductor of the Meiningen Orchestra and later became the junior conductor at the Munich Opera.
Strauss also wrote opera and continued to conduct. Many of his operas had controversial subjects or characters.
Also Sprach Zarathustra
8.Blue Danube - inspiring.
Johann Strauss Jr.
Named "The Waltz King" (because of the many waltzes he wrote).
Johann Jr.'s father was a successful musician and composer. He tried to convince Johann Jr. to be a banker, But Johann had other plans. He began composing at the age of 6. Strauss Jr. played for many court balls and eventually become the Royal Director of Music for Court Balls in Emperor Franz Joseph's court.
Strauss Jr.'s music could be easily sung or whistled and was very popular in Vienna and all around the world. He had a dance orchestra that toured Europe and the U.S.
His most famous waltz is the Blue Danube.
Did you know?
Johann's jr. dad was also a famous musician.
But he is placed 100th on this list.
7. Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 7 - An inspiring woman.
Ok so she's not a top ten. But I had to include her! Being such a feminist my eyes were starting to ache from all the men on this page.
Clara Wieck-Schumann is a composer and ALSO the wife of composer Robert Schumann.
Clara became interested in music at an early age, making her first musical appearance at age 9 and performing her first piano recital at age 11. She studied voice, violin, score reading, and composition, among other musical things.
Robert Schumann and Clara married in 1840. They had eight children together and were great friends with Johannes Brahms, another composer.
Throughout her life, Clara was well-known as a piano soloist, gaining fame for her technical proficiencies, sensitive interpretations of musical works, and her ability to express the composer's intent in the music.
Clara wrote 66 pieces, including works for piano and orchestra, solo piano and even cadenzas for piano concertos already written by Beethoven and Mozart!
Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 7
Did you know?
There are many famous women composers: Fanny Mendelssohn, Amy Beach , Hildegard von Bingen and Lili Boulanger.
Go girl power!
6. Canon In D
German composer Johann Pachelbel was known for his works for organ, and was considered one of the great organ masters of the generation before J.S. Bach.
He was the teacher (!) of Johann Christoph Bach, who later gave lessons to his younger brother Johann Sebastian Bach. He wrote a huge amount of music, of which his organ chorale variations and Magnificat settings are especially remarkable, he is principally known today for a single piece, the extremely popular Canon in D Major.
Canon In D
Funny Parody: - Canon in D is everywhere. Don't believe me? Watch this.
5. William Tell Overture
An Italian composer. He began composing at age 12.
Born in Italy, his father was a musician and his mother was an opera singer. As a boy, he was a singer and played the cello and horn. At 15, he entered a music school in Bologna, Italy where he learned to compose music. His first successful composition was completed at age 18 in Venice, Italy, and his masterpiece, The Barber of Seville, was first performed in Rome, Italy when he was only 24 years of age.
Pretty impressive for such a young man.
He composed thirty operas. Rossini was a lazy man, fond of women, and a very good cook. He liked to host dinner parties for his friends, among whom was Franz Liszt, another famous composer. Rossini was married two times and both wives were opera singers.
William Tell Overture
4. Toccata And Fugue In D Minor - creepy...
Johann Sebastian Bach
A German composer, organist, and violinist with works for choir, orchestra, and solo instruments.
Bach was born to a family of musicians who taught him music at a young age.
At age 10 he became an orphan after his mother and father died not too far apart (eight months late). He moved in with his eldest brother, Johann Christoph Bach (1671-1721). J.C Bach taught him Organ.
His first major appointment, in 1708, was as organist at the ducal court at Weimar. This was followed by a six-year stay (1717 - 23) as kapellmeister at the princely court of KÃ¶then, which was in turn followed by his appointment as cantor at the great church of St. Thomas in Leipzig, where he would remain for the rest of his life.
He composed over 1,100 works in almost every musical genre (except opera).
Toccata And Fugue In D Minor
3. Eine Kleine Nachtmusik: Allegro
Mozart Wolfgang Amadeus
Mozart was the greatest child star that ever lived! He was traveling all over Europe playing music by the time he was six. Because of his constant travels, Mozart eventually learned to speak fifteen different languages.
He wrote his first sonata for the piano when he was four and composed his first opera when he was twelve! Mozart could compose anywhere - at meals, while talking to friends, while playing pool and even while his wife was having a baby. He composed very quickly and wrote huge amounts of music.
During his lifetime, Mozart was quite famous and successful but spent money fast. He was poor and in debt when he died of kidney failure at the age of 35 and was buried in an unmarked grave. Mozart is considered by some to be the greatest composer who ever lived. While most composers specialize in certain kinds of pieces, Mozart created masterful works for almost every category of music - vocal music, concertos, chamber music, symphonies, sonatas, and opera.
Eine Kleine Nachtmusik: Allegro
2. 1812 Overture - Who was Peter Tchaikovsky?
This Russian composer wrote symphonies, operas, ballets, and chamber music.
He wrote the music for three of the most famous ballets: Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker.
If you've ever been to a ballet then most chances are that you've heard his stuff.
Despite his successes, Tchaikovsky's life was full of personal crises and depression. Some dark events: He left his mother for boarding school, his mother's early death, his suppressed homosexuality, and the collapse of the one enduring relationship of his adult life, his 13-year association with the wealthy widow Nadezhda von Meck. His sudden death at the age of 53 is generally ascribed to cholera, but some attribute it to suicide.
1. Symphony No. 5: I - The greatest piece of all times.
This song brings back memories of me and my best friends doing a school project for music class. We probably replayed this song about 100 times!! We had to keep replaying it so that we could analyze it...We weren't too good at it...obviously.
But enough about me. Let’s talk Beethoven. This number one piece was born in the hands of a music legend.
Beethoven had a dark and sad childhood. His father was an abusive alcoholic who forced his son to play the piano. If Beethoven messed up he was punishes harshly. By the tender age of 12 he was earning his family a living (that’s a lot on a little boy’s shoulders!) by playing organ and composing. He was eventually known as the greatest pianist of his time.
Beethoven never married. He proposed too many women who all rejected him.
His hearing began to deteriorate in his late twenties. However, he continued to compose, conduct, and perform, even after becoming completely deaf. What an inspiration!