Read these 11 Composers Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Classical Music tips and hundreds of other topics.
Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757) was famous for his music for keyboard for which he wrote more than 500 sonatas. These are often heard on harpsichord, but have been recorded for piano by Vladimir Horowitz, among others. Be sure to add some of these striking sonatas to your music library.
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) was a very prolific composer with 400 cantatas, hundreds of keyboard works, many concertos among his works. You may want to start your Bach library with the Six Brandenburg Concertos or the B Minor Mass. The solo Cello Suites are among my personal favorites. A sampling of Bach's works can be found here: http://www.bachcentral.com/midiindexcomplete.html.
Mozart's music has been called "absolute musicality" because it is difficult to find evidence of Mozart's personal life or attitudes in his music. Instead, his music reflects the Classical ideals of symmetry and balance. When listening to the symphonies of Mozart, start with No. 41 in C, the Jupiter. Then you can go on to listen to a wealth of chamber music, concertos and sonatas (both piano solo and instrumental with piano accompaniment). If you love opera, choose from The Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni, or The Magic Flute for starters.
Philip Glass is an American Composer known for his minimalist style. He strips his composition down to the bare essentials, and repeats these elements in rhythmic cycles. Some of his works last as long as four hours creating a mesmerizing effect. Glass has created three operas, several film scores, and has collaborated with Jean Cocteau.
If you would like an introduction to classical symphonies of Haydn that is a lot of fun, listen to the barnyard sounds in the Hen Symphony (No. 83) or the loud chords of the Surprise Symphony (No. 94) designed to startle royal audiences. Haydn wrote 104 Symphonies. You may also want to try the Trumpet Concerto or the D Major Harpsichord Concerto, also heard for piano. Other important works to add to your collection are Haydn's oratorios, The Creation and The Seasons.
Arnold Schoenberg created a new method of composition called serial music. He used the twelve tones in a specific sequence, a tone row, with these rules. Each tone must be sounded before any can be repeated, but then when the row of twelve tones is repeated, it can be backward (retrograde), upside down (inverted) or backwards and upside down (retrograde inversion).
One of the earliest women composers was Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1197) who wrote mystical poetry and songs. Fanny Mendelssohn (1805-1947) wrote about 500 songs and piano pieces as well as other chamber music. Most of her works remain unpublished. Clara Schuman (1819-1896) wrote works for her own use in performance including a Piano Trio, two concertos and many shorter pieces. Her nickname was "Queen of the Piano."
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|