Classical music – what can’t be missing from a music lover’s collection?

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Although listening to classical music is still considered to be a sign of good taste and salon etiquette, in practice, the knowledge of it tends to be superficial. Even people who declare their admiration for the works of certain composers do not have a wide enough knowledge. What works should be on the playlist of a true music lover?

Classical, or classical music

According to the classification created by British musicologist Philip Tagg, there are three basic types of music:

  • classical music,
  • folk music,
  • popular music.

The term “classical music” should actually be synonymous with the term “music of the classical era” and refer to works created in the years 1750-1820. Therefore, the name “classical music” is often used, which, however, is also sometimes associated with something exaggeratedly sophisticated and refined.

Classical music, or what kind of music?

Under this term we will find academic, secular and sacred music, whose works were and are developed over a thousand years from the eleventh to the twenty-first century. It is characterized by

  • creation by professionals;
  • lack of mass distribution;
  • it is recorded in the form of musical notation (instead of being transmitted by ear or recorded);
  • it was associated with the world of landed gentry and industry;
  • is now publicly funded;
  • has an extensive theoretical foundation.

Pearls of classical music

If you don’t know classical music well, you have to start with the absolute pearls of the genre. As an advanced music lover, however, it is difficult to do without returning to them. Although it is not easy to distinguish them from hundreds of well-known pieces, but you should certainly know them:

antonio Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons”

A cycle of four violin concertos that were included in a collection from 1725. Antonio Vivaldi composed them on the basis of anonymous sonnets. Each concerto relates to a different season: “Spring,” “Summer,” “Autumn,” and “Winter.” Vivaldi’s illustrative work is even spoken of as sound painting.

“Moonlight Sonata and For Eliza by Ludwig van Beethoven

The first work was written in 1800-1801 and is one of the greatest sonatas in the history of music. Beethoven dedicated it to his beloved and pupil Giulietta Guicciardi. “For Eliza”, on the other hand, is a piano miniature composed around 1810. The composition was published many years after the death of the brilliant composer and it is not fully known what its original title was and who was the woman to whom the piece was dedicated.

Georgii Cherkin Live – Beethoven – Für Elise | Piano & Orchestra

“Eine klaine Nachtmusik” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Written for string quartet, this is one of Mozart’s most popular compositions. It is known that the work was created in 1787 in Vienna. The four-movement piece has a very positive tone despite the difficulties experienced by the author at the end of his life

“Swan Lake” by Pyotr Tchaikovsky

A classical ballet that Pyotr Tchaikovsky composed in 1876. Interestingly, the Moscow premiere at the Bolshoi Theater was considered very poor. The beginning of the popularity of “Swan Lake” came several years later, already after Tchaikovsky’s death

“Messiah” by Georg Friedrich Händel

Georg Friedrich Händel’s oratorio was composed in 1741.The most recognizable part of the work is the “Hallelujah!” chorus, which gave the composer worldwide fame and is one of the most recognizable pieces in music history. The masterpiece was created in just two weeks

“On the Beautiful Blue Danube” by Johann Strauss

Johann Strauss II composed this waltz in 1867. The piece became incredibly famous only in its instrumental version.

“Bolero” by Maurice Ravel

Maurice Ravel composed the piece in 1928. It was created as music for a ballet show. Concert performances of the work were at first negatively perceived as too simple and monotonous. Eventually the piece, based on the development of a single melodic and rhythmic theme, gained recognition and entered the canon of classical music

“Revolutionary Etude in C minor by Fryderyk Chopin

A work by the great Fryderyk Chopin could not be missing from the list either. Composed in 1831, he dedicated the work to “his friend” Franz Liszt. It is traditionally believed that the impulse for its composition was the news of the fall of the November Uprising. The work is also valued because it requires virtuosity from the performer.

Photo: Eduardo Romero/Pexels

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