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I was wondering what everyone's favorite classical composers & compositions are. I know Gabriel has a huge knowledge of all kinds of music and I think I have seen him talk about classical composers. If you have any suggestions I would love to hear your favorites! cool.gif

(I have to study a ton this semester and can't really concentrate when listening to rock but I want some music playing!)
hmm mine are Vivaldi, Mozart, Bethoveen and Pachelbel tongue.gif
I'll go for Johann Sebastian Bach, he composed his music with mathematic precission
Prokofiev,Schubert, and Puccini.
Frederic Chopin and Johann Sebastian Bach
Mozart, Bach, Beethoven, Schubert, Chopin, Tchaikovsky, and some others. I don't really keep up with the less "mainstream" ones (I have the same problem with rap) to the degree that I do for rock bands, but I do really like these guys.
QUOTE (Gen @ Aug 1 2007, 09:19 PM) *
Frederic Chopin and Johann Sebastian Bach
I knew I missed someone!
Niccolo Paganini smile.gif
People used to say he sold his soul to the devil as he was the fastest violin player ever heard.He is also Yngwie Malmsteen's biggest influence on the guitar,truly a legend biggrin.gif
Marcus Lavendell
Definitely F. Chopin!
Thanks all!...any compostions that you adore?
Beethoven would be my favourite composer (of any music). Some gems to look out for are: Symphony no 7, (second movement), Symphony no 9 (first movement), and in my eyes, the best piece of music ever written, which is the third movement (presto agitato) of the Piano Sonata no 14 (Moonlight). The first movement, which is slower, is more famous, but the third movement is hair raisingly good.

If you are into your repeating runs, and arpeggio patterns, the baroque era is where you should look. Bach has been mentioned. Look for the "well tempered clavier", which is a collection of works that were designed to improve a student at the keyboard. For listening, the 6 cello sonatas are superb, toccata and fugue in D minor is legendary, and the Brandenburg Concertos are fantastic. Jason Becker was clearly heavily influenced by Bach.

Vivaldi is another very important, but much overlooked Baroque composer. If you haven't got "The Four Seasons", go out and buy, borrow, or steal it. It's jam packed with all the goods for building some serious classical chops.

Paganini is, well, Paganini. The 24 caprices, (of which number 5 is the one made famous by Yngwie and Vai), are study exercises. They are the most difficult pieces of music ever written for violin, and it has been suggested that Paganini himself could not actually play them to begin with, but then set about figuring out how to play the pieces he had written. The result was he became a chops monster. The effect on audiences was mind blowing. People were fainting at his performances. This is where the "pact with the devil" came from. In my opinion, check out caprice 24 (quite famous), 16, and 10. But also get the other ones to listen to, and write down passages that you like. There is a lifetimes worth of licks in them. Paganini was also a really good guitarist, so he has also written music specifically for the instrument (although more subdued).

Other great listening pieces, Bedrich Smetanas "Ma Vlast", Lizsts Hungarian Rhapsody no 2, Aaron Copeland "Hoedown", Richard Strauss "Also Sprach Zarathustra", Beethovens Eroica symphony (no 3), Tchaikovsky "1812 Overture", and Mozarts "Requiem".

Hopefully that should be a start for you, to get you through those long bouts of study (sorry if I got carried away!!)

Thanks Tank! The answer i was looking for!
Saoirse O'Shea
I like most forms of classical music (not particularly fond of French Baroque but you can't have everything). However if I had to choose my 10 favourites and the reasons it would probably be:

Igor Stravinsky - Rite of Spring. First classical piece I saw performed as a ballet and also the first piece of music that really made me question my whole understanding of harmony and rythm.

Olivier Messiaen - both his Catalogue of Birds and Quartet for the End of Time. As with Stravinsky I just fond Messiaen's whole harmonic sense so rich, moving and questioning. Love the idea of mimicking rather than flattering it.

Steve Reich - Different Trains - very moving piece particularly if you read the background as to what the people are talking about. The conversations/interviews are survivors of the concentration camps talking about how they were moved about during WWII by train to and from camps. It's also a very accessible piece of modern composition.

Sergei Rachmaninoff - Piano Concerto 3 - the breadth of dynamics from a piano (particularly if it's played by someone like Martha Argerich) is stunning - from almost silent to thunderous in a heart's breadth.

George Gershwin - Rhapsody in Blue - classical composition meets jazz. Great piece of music.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - Piano concerto no 21 (the Elvira Madigan) K461 - notoriously difficult to play but when it's played well it is stunningly beautiful. Also it always reminds of the film of the same name.

Karol Szymanowski - Stabat Mater - just a beautiful choral piece. Hugely moving particularly if you ever hear it performed live in a cathedral.

Witold Lutoslawski - Chain 3 - again its just a great piece that challenged how I understand music and composition. I find it amazing that it is possible to build a coherent whole by overlapping different short musical takes.

Benjamin Britten - The turn of the screw - be scared, be very scared... The film The Others has nothing on this. It also deviates from what my mother terms the operatic cliche of 'boy meets girl, falls in love, loses girl, kills himself, girl returns finds boy, kills herself' (or some varitaion on this theme).

The Uncreator
^Damn man, you pretty much covered the best stuff!

My favorite composers would be...

F. Chopin
Nobuo Uematsu
That question is hard to answer. I am into classical music since the day i was born - because my whole family are musicians. Growing up in such a family drove me to love the classical music in general and not some particular composers. I always listened to my mom practicing piano (how can you not listen to it - it's loud biggrin.gif) practicing stuff for concerts she played back at that time, my older brother practiced clarinet for like 5 hours each day, and i was going to theater 3 times a week since i was 3 years old! Pretty good, ha? smile.gif

I really don't know which are my favorite because i simply love classical music stuff!! It's like having 2 guitars of the same brand and model and answer the question: "Which one do you like most?" - they are both awesome! So is for me in classical music!
Lots of my recommendations are already here...

Bedrich Smetana: Ma Vlast, especially the "Vltava" part - which is also the most famous part, since the theme is very similar to the Israeli national hymn - the hymn may or may not have been inspired by "Vltava", or they're both drawing from older music. "Värmlandsvisan", which Kris might know, has another very similar theme.

Sergei Rachmaninov: 2nd and 3rd Piano Concerto - I can only agree with tonymiro's admiration for Martha Argerich's interpretation of the 3rd, although sometimes I'm more in the mood for a more transparent version, like Stephen Hough. Also his etudes tableaux - fiendishly difficult, some of them. And Isle of the Dead - very sombre and atmospheric - as well as Symphonic dances. And be sure to have a listen to Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini. 24 variations on Paganini's 24th caprice. Lots of very impish humor in there. Everything by Rach is great tongue.gif The Rhapsody and the 3rd concerto are among my favorite pieces to play on the piano - out of the entire repertoire. Those, and:

Sergei Prokofiev: 3rd Piano Concerto - wonderfully cacaphonic, and yet after a few listens, everything in it makes sense. A very classical piece, with very non-classical harmonies/chords. Also check the music for Romeo and Juliet (ballet, but also collected as suites).

Felix Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto - really the second, but I've met few who've ever heard of his first smile.gif Wonderful themes, and a great cadenza (solo) for the violin, which I'm sure could inspire some guitar riffs wink.gif

Fryderyk Chopin: Etudes - all 24 of them (two sets of 12) - much more than study pieces. Used one of them (op. 10 no. 1) as example of arpeggios-from-hell-arpeggiating for piano in a thread on the theory board wink.gif Although op. 10 no. 4 is much more fun to play. Op. 10 no. 5, the right hand is using only the black keys - effectively making the G-flat major pentatonic scale wink.gif. Anything by Chopin, really - preludes, waltzes, nocturnes, all of the piano solo pieces (not really as interested in his concertos).

Igor Stravinsky: Other than Rite of Spring, also have a listen to The Firebird - more ear-pleasing, but just as primal.

Henryk Gorecki: 3rd symphony (Symphony of Sorrowful Songs). Very very moving, when it's done right. Naxos, being a budget label (also available on iTunes) has probably the best recording of it I've ever heard.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: I mostly dislike Mozart, except for all of his vocal work - his masses, including the Requiem, as well as his operas. Wonderful creativity and imagination in those. Not so much in his orchestral and piano works, I find.

Ludwig van Beethoven: His most famous piano sonatas - I much prefer Pathetique and Appasionata to Moonlight. Symphonies - the 3rd, the 7th and the 9th are my favorites.

Arvo Pärt: Fratres, Summa and Tabula Rasa especially. Modern composer, medieval inspiration smile.gif

Franz Liszt: Hungarian Rhapsodies (no. 2 is the most famous one, but others are worth of a listen too), Mephisto Waltz No. 1, his Dante and Faust symphonies, and his piano sonata. Also check out his piano transcription of Saint-Säens' "Danse Macabre" - preferably also listen to the original orchestral piece.

Witold Lutoslawski: ... whom tonymiro already mentioned, also did his own set of variations on Paganini's caprice no. 24.

Bela Bartok: Concerto for Orchestra and Music for Strings, Percussion and Celeste. Lots of interesting rhythmic and sonic ideas there.

Edvard Grieg: Piano Concerto and music from Peer Gynt. Very Norwegian folk music-inspired. Liszt admired the concerto a lot (although reportedly, he managed to play it (too fast) straight from the sheet when first seeing it wink.gif)

Claude Debussy: Preludes for piano. La Mer. People tend to call it the musical version of the impressionism in pictorial art - very "floaty", much of Debussy's work wink.gif


I could go on and on wink.gif The places where I've listed the same as others... Take that to mean "essential" wink.gif
Thanks Kaneda! cool.gif
Gabriel Leopardi
Hey!! I'm late! smile.gif Well.. you had lots of recomendations and excelent answers... So check that compositions. I love many of them and I'm still discovering some of them. Every period had great music composers.

I suggest you to listen the following composers. Bach, Vivaldi, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Brahms, Debussy, Stravinsky, Wagner, Schoenberg, Berg. You could follow the classical harmonic/musical evolution if you listen in this order (from consonance to disonance).

Juan M. Valero
I like a lot Vivaldi and of course the canon of Pachelbel... I love the original Canon, but the new copies and guitar adaptations (from Mr. Lee) for example aren't as emotive as the original !!
QUOTE (Juan M. Valero @ Aug 23 2007, 06:34 AM) *
I like a lot Vivaldi and of course the canon of Pachelbel... I love the original Canon, but the new copies and guitar adaptations (from Mr. Lee) for example aren't as emotive as the original !!

Agreed ! But I think it was a creative way to take something orignal and make it your own. Lee has very better pieces of music then Canon though.

Hmm idk many classical music composers. But well usually when I hear a piece of classical music I never know who the artist is tongue.gif

Probably Mozart would have to be my favorite.

- John
Muris Varajic
I would say Chopin as well.
His style is so sweet,charmy,emotional,colorful and full of high technical attributes for sure.
There are also Bach,Wagner,Beethowen,Mozart,Smetana,Dvorzak,Ravel etc
but Chopin is still number one on my list. smile.gif
Edvard Grieg. You've probably already heard something from him, he got alot of famous compositions. Dovregubbens hall \m/ seriously metal man biggrin.gif
Juan M. Valero
Just a coment...

in my opinion nowadays there are a great orchetra composers, for example Hans Zimmer, Klaus Badelt, and other OSTs composers
QUOTE (Juan M. Valero @ Aug 25 2007, 05:20 AM) *
Just a coment...

in my opinion nowadays there are a great orchetra composers, for example Hans Zimmer, Klaus Badelt, and other OSTs composers

I agree, even though I dont know much about this subject, but I have been talking alot to a friend of mine that I have on msn, been watching alot of youtube videos tongue.gif He says that even though most popular music is just crap nowdays, there are so many excellent classical composers and jazz musicians that are on the same level as the good ol' ones, or even higher. Just got to dig deep to find the good stuff.

I doubt there will ever be rock bands like Uriah Heep, Led Zeppelin and others ever again. Thats just me though.
I think that Paganini was a pretty amazing guy... his pieces were more or less considered impossible to play during his time.

Besides that, I'm not sure... I don't really know the names of very many composers, but I love epic-sounding music, it just feels great to listen to.
I just discovered a composer named Carl Nielsen, this is AMAZING!
This is slightly off topic since its kinda folk music, but I thought I'd mention it anyway. I just started listening to Riverdance today, its sooooo amazing. Just listening to the CD is so extremely mindblowing, imagine being at the show! blink.gif
Juan M. Valero
QUOTE (Robin @ Aug 26 2007, 03:45 AM) *
I just discovered a composer named Carl Nielsen, this is AMAZING!

mmm I try to obtain something rolleyes.gif
Im a big fan of Bach and Puccini ! smile.gif
QUOTE (Robin @ Aug 26 2007, 03:45 AM) *
I just discovered a composer named Carl Nielsen, this is AMAZING!

Carl Nielsen has done a lot of interesting work that's been quite overlooked... Especially by Danes smile.gif Every Dane probably knows a single piece by him (which is, incidentally, quite beautiful), and nothing else - Tågen Letter ("The Fog is Lifting"). Lots of other stuff to listen to smile.gif
I would definitly say my favourite is F. Chopin too, he is amazing because of his very expressive, emotional style.....and also another great composer for me would be Schubert, who was also very close to the romantic epoque smile.gif
Asphyxia Feeling
QUOTE (FretDancer69 @ Aug 1 2007, 06:17 PM) *
hmm mine are Vivaldi, Mozart, Bethoveen and Pachelbel tongue.gif

+1 on what fretdancer said. can't beat them biggrin.gif

not to say i'm an expert on classical music; those artists are all super popular as it is, so they ended up being the first guys i got into with classical music.

mmm... classical music always makes me want to go buy a piano or something. so relaxing.
Kosei Kubota
It is hard to pick. Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, all of these giants are great.

But not many of those great composers wrote pieces for classical guitar.

Among contemporary composers, Toru Takemitsu wrote and arranged several pieces for the guitar, and he is one of my favorite classical composers.

Check these out!
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