Last week, a friend of mine asked me to suggest an artist which he would have never heard before, and I said, try Beethoven. Poor chap thought I was joking, so I laughed it away and acted like I was joking after all.
But he doesn’t know what he is missing out on, but I don’t want all my awesome followers, to miss out on it as well.
So, I thought maybe I will pen down a list of my favourite ‘classical’ music compositions. So here is top 10 favourite classical music list.
10. Johann Strauss II – The Blue Danube Waltz
Okay, now as you click on the listen, you almost certainly have heard the composition or at least a part of it somewhere else. That is a great quirk of most famous classical music. It’s sprewed around all over the place. And, it is really exciting to recognise a composition, when it’s playing in the background of say, a romantic scene in a movie.
And the history behind this composition is exhilarating, I will write more about it perhaps some other time.
9. Beethoven – Ode to joy (Symphony #9)
This is one of the first pieces which showed me the power an orchestra can add to a composition.
To think that this was written by a deaf and an aging man is simply mind-blowing, but then it’s Beethoven after all.
Adopted as the anthem of the EU, I was surprised to learn that this song is immensely popular in Japan as well.
10,000 people singing Beethoven in Japan.
Among my most favourite pieces from the Baroque period, it really captivates me every time I hear it. The sound of the organ really is unique and probably Bach’s best work.
7.Liszt – Hungarian Rhapsody no 2.
After listening to just this one piece by Liszt, it is very easy to understand why he was such a rockstar back in his day.
So many moods and tones and brilliant maneuvers all packed into this one composition, Liszt definitely is climbing up the ranks among my favourite composers.
6.Mozart – Eine Kleine Nachtmusik
Although, Mozart is not among my favourite composers, and even though I generally feel that he is over rated, this is one of my favourite pieces. Maybe, I should listen to Mozart all over again, with an open heart this time.
This is one of the most important reasons I started listening to classical music, and it was many many years ago ( at least about 5-6 years ago), and it still has the same effect on me as it did the very first time. and I guess, it has had the same effect on everyone over all these years.
An absolutely blissful composition, and will forever remain among my all time favourites.
A more delightful composition can not be made, seriously, this gives me the goosebumps every time I listen to it.
The repetitive rhythm makes for an easy listening and one can not help but feel euphoric after listening to it.
Listen to it now, done?
Now, know that this song is interpreted by most music experts as an ode to seduction, or as a score to coitus, to put it mildly.
Now listen to it again, you are bound to appreciate it even more. Bolero conducted by Gustavo
3. Ludwig Van Beethoven – Moonlight Sonata
Damn, I could fill up this entire list, with just Beethoven.
This piece, I believe has the power to transfix anyone, and put even the most remorse and heartless people to tears. There couldn’t be an better celebration of love and serenity than this sonata right here.
It is almost mystic, the way in which the piece is deceptively named ‘Moonlight Sonata’ (although he didn’t name it so).
At one point, it seems like the perfect score to be playing in the background, when you get down on your knees and propose to your loved one, while at on other point, it makes you lean back and lose yourself in thoughts about questions you had never considered before.
2.Antonin Dvorark – New World Symphony
How? Just how could a human brain perceive of such a splendid, opulent, majestic music.
With so many elements and intricacies, one would expect a cacophony of sounds, but the actual result leaves me speechless and yearning for more, each time I hear this.
I can’t describe all the feelings that rush though me, each time this piece is played, and I am filled with hope as I near the 4th movement, which is definitely, the best music I have ever heard.
New world symphony – 4th movement, just listen to this even if you never bothered clicking any other link. I swear, it will take you through a worm hole to a distant place, which you wouldn’t even dream about, and at the end, if you don’t feel bad to be back to normalcy again, well… what can I say? music isn’t for you.
1. baa dmmm tsss…..
Before mentioning the #1 piece, let me tell you as to why it is in the coveted spot 😉
After listening to such complicated and magnificent symphonies such as #2, simplicity can often be overlooked, but I believe that beauty lies in subtleties, and this is a prime example.
Composed for the harpsichord, for the Spanish emperors back in the day, this piece never gets old.
However, I wish both the piece and the composer, got a little more publicity, which is maybe one more reason, as to why he is here.
Domenicco Scarlatti – k 141( allegro on the piano ), this is flawless performance, and leaves you grasping for breath, thanks to the super allegro? interpretation by Martha, and that’s what makes it special.
It sounds just as pleasurable, if not more, on the harpsichord.
I am sure that this list will change in the future as I discover new, or should I say antique? music, but come what may, each piece on this list, is definitely, a great gift to all of mankind.
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Don’t mean this to sound offensive, just curious: do I gather you’re relatively new to classical music? It’s just that most of these are the sort of classical music that people hear when they start listening – and fair enough if that’s just a coincidence (after all, they’re popular because they’re good). And, for instance, it’s unusual to list ‘the ode to joy’, which isn’t even a movement but only a bit of one movement of a symphony.
Although I have to admit I don’t know the Scarlatti.
On Mozart: Mozart is very underrated, I think. Have you seen the film, ‘Amadeus’? It does a good job of showcasing some of his music for the uninitiated, I think. [Certainly, I have a friend who never listens to classical music (he’s more into death metal and the like) who watched it and immediate said ‘right, give me Mozart to listen to!’ (he then got distracted by something else and never went through with it, but I was impressed nonetheless).]
Anyway, I’ve no idea what my favourites would be. Off the top of my head, some possibilities:
– Dvorak’s American string quartet
– Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake (the eight-movement extended orchestral suite ideally, not the four-movement one)
– Mozart’s Requiem
– Mozart’s piano concerto no. 20
– Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony
– Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier
– Beethoven’s piano sonata op 26 (it’s not a famous one, but I’ve always loved it for some reason)
– Beethoven’s piano sonata op 111
– Schubert’s Trout quintet
– Beethoven’s 9th
As you can see, I’m mostly into unfashionable, populist romantic music with a strong classical element. I do like other music too, quite eclectically, but this is my favourite area.
To pick just two – T’s fifth (which it’s been fashionable to look down on snobbishly ever since it was written, but I think it’s the most wonderfully human and heart-wrenching thing), and Beethoven’s 111 (which is supernaturally sublime).
Anyway, if you are relatively new to classical music: keep listening! One great virtue of classical music is that it is almost endless – no matter how much you listen to, there is always something else you haven’t heard of.
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Yeah, vacuouswastrel, I am a complete tyro, when it comes to classical music, I should have mentioned it, but it slipped through the excitement of listing the pieces, I guess.
I haven’t watched the film, however, I have listened to a lot of Mozart, I don’t know if it some mental block of some sort, but for some reason , I have not been able to appreciate his music, as much as I should.
It maybe because, I see so many great compositions, like say the one I am listening to on loop, right now, Mendelsshon’s violin concerto, I see these performances, and think, well.. this is at least as good.
Anyway, thanks for posting your list as well, I am off to hear ’em all. 🙂
A nice varied list for starting – shows you aren’t locked into one genre of classical.
Have you listened to the contrast of the second and third movements of ‘Moonlight’? I enjoy listening all three as much as I enjoy playing them. And I think I like the ‘Pathetique’ even more. Grieg’s ‘Morning’ contrasted with Elgar’s ‘Morning Mood’ are also favourites of mine. Mozart has considerable depth when you get beyond the fairly trite ‘potboilers’ demanded by the public of the time. Saint-Saëns is a slightly lesser-known composer well worth listening to – also among my favourites. I could go on and on!
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Came over to thank you for following my blog today. Got sucked right into this little list of yours…..I had same thoughts as the others……you seem to hit all the “big” ones that everyone starts with. This is good….means you’re on the right track! 🙂 There are just so many amazing pieces of music in the classical world, I wouldn’t even begin to know how to come up with a list. Handel currently my main course…….The intro to Zadok the Priest is the stuff dreams are made of! I also quite like Pachebel though he, too, is one of the ones you always here. Elgar’s Enigma variations has a good background story if you’re into mysteries (each movement given initials specific to someone in his life, but no one seems to know who…) No. 7 is guaranteed to give you shivers it’s so incredible. Check out some more ‘modern’ stuff too….Mahler, Holst, Stravinsky, and also might mention Franck! Will look forward to seeing where your journey takes you!
Ooops, meant “hear” not “here”……sorry for typo…..got too excited trying to share all this with you!
I LOOOOVE this post! It delights me beyond words whenever somebody gets newly excited about the vast riches of the world of classical music! I always enjoyed music of all sorts, from when I was very young, but never imagined I’d be so immersed in it as an adult, but that’s what happened. When I was teaching art and writing at a small university it was next door to the music building, and as a fan of music already it was natural that I found lots of friends on the music faculty (more than in my own departments, really)—and I ended up falling in love with and marrying one of ’em. 😀 Lucky, lucky me! Nearly 20 years later, I’m still amazed and thrilled at how much great stuff there is to hear, and look forward to every rehearsal, recital, concert, recording, performance, etc, that I’m privileged to enjoy. I love getting to hear the musicians (singers and instrumentalists, conductors, composers, and all) ‘talk shop’ before and after work, and to learn to enjoy new—or just new to *me*—works all the time.
I hope you’ll continue to find pleasure in this wonderful world you wandered into, and that you’ll inspire others to get to know what fantastic stuff there is to explore in the whole scheme of the musical universe.
PS—If you’re interested in getting to know some other terrific classical musical literature, performers, and so on, YouTube has tons, including a bunch of clips from the University of North Texas’ musical performers, including my husband conducting a couple of his choirs and/or orchestral players in both familiar and less well-known works. 🙂 (For his performances on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=UNT+music+%2B+Richard+Sparks)
In addition, you can watch lots of UNT concerts live-streamed (http://recording.music.unt.edu/live). And of course, lots of other musical groups and institutions of all sorts stream stuff live, offer recordings, and so on, so you can get tons and tons of terrific stuff for free! Feeds the soul, it does. 😀
Thanks for taking your time 🙂
And yeah, it has been a couple of more months into this awesome music, and yeah I am discovering new music everyday 😀
RIght now, I am really sucked into Shostakovich, and Mendellsohn.
Man, if not for anti-semitism, Mendelssohn would have achieved the status he actually deserves. Anyway, I am glad I discovered his works, and it was through some suggestion like yours 🙂
So, thanks for taking your time, and I shall post more lists like these from time to time 🙂
Thanks for the musical suggestions 🙂
I will try them tonight 🙂
And I really wish I could play some instrument, but it’s not too late I guess. 🙂
I know what I want to learn next 😀
It is never to late to take up an instrument. Keyboard-types are the best basis, but for the most inexpensive option a simple soprano recorder, a good book of instruction, a lot of practice, and tolerant neighbours, will do wonders!
That’s a wonderful suggestion 🙂 😀
Sorry for noticing this comment really late 😦
I was sorta busy.
Wow, I was just wondering, believe it or not, just yesterday, if I would be as interested in music, say 10-15 years from now. But I think I have my answer right over there 🙂
I am so excited just to be asserted that, people can’t get bored with music.
Wow, sure, I will check it out, and get back 🙂
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