[dropcap size=small]C[/dropcap]lassical music is not only great for relaxing, it can be actively enjoyed as well. You’re in no danger of switching out Led Zeppelin’s box set or The Chronic for Classical Concertos in the Key of C, but if you’re thinking it’s time to deepen your musical repertoire, we have got the perfect launching point into the greatest hits list of classical music. Get your headphones ready for a few hours of true, heavenly music. Crizic selects the 10 greatest pieces of classical music ever:
10. Fur Elise:
Among Beethoven’s most recognizable works, Fur Elise is the bona fide piano piece. It enjoys immense popularity in the modern world, more so for its easy accessibility and melody than its musical complexity. Amongst a number of pieces written for his lady loves, Fur Elise probably remains the most popular and one of the greatest pieces of classical music, ever.
9. Eine Kleine Nachtmusik:
Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, or “A little night music” is probably Mozart’s most famous work, owing to its simplicity as compared to his other works and its melodic,easy-flowing tune. Performed in classical halls to street corners(!), EKN is Mozart’s light-hearted and laid-back vision of a beautiful night serenade.
8. The Magic Flute:
An opera by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, The Magic Flute is probably more famous as ‘Singspiel’, played and recited in a two part format. An instant success upon its release, The Magic Flute has continued to endure as one of classical music’s more dramatically accessible works, enjoying huge popularity even today all over the world in opera houses.
7. Clair De Lune:
Clair De Lune can be called modern society’s fallback classical piece when scouting musical scores for high profile living. Actually the third movement of Debussy’s piano suite, Bergamasque, Clair De Lune enjoys incredible popularity for its relatively simplistic and well structured beauty, making it one of the most accessible pieces of classical music ever.
6. Four Seasons:
Antonio Vivaldi’s Four Seasons eclipses his Flute Concerto as his best work finding its place at No.6 on our list. One of the best selling baroque pieces of all time, Four Seasons consists of four violin pieces that are a wedding and aficionado favorite. Four Seasons rose in prominence and was admired for the violin pieces’ ability to evoke the feelings of a particular season in the audience.
5. Moonlight Sonata:
Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata was written as an effort to appease his 17 year old understudy, Countess Giulietta Guicciardi, and is often considered the definitive romantic classical piece, rivalled only by the fame of Fur Elise. Beautiful and filled with longing, Beethoven imbibed the Sonata with fierce personal expression which was to later become his hallmark.
4. Brandenburg Concerto No.3 in G-Major:
Probably the finest example of music from the Baroque period, the Brandenburg Concertos were a musical set composed of six pieces which was presented by Bach to Christian Ludwig. Noted for its clean structure and intellectual depth, the Brandenburg Concertos(especially No. 3) are resounding with sound composition and teeming with intricate complexity(Baroque’s signature).
3. The Marriage of Figaro:
At No.3 is what is probably Mozrt’s most famous opera; placed at this position because of the sheer genius it exudes in its technique, composition and style. Inspired by a play of the same name, Mozart transports the characters beautifully into the operatic genre, leading the Marriage of Figaro to be considered a standard by which to judge operactic repertoire.
2. 5th Symphony:
Beethoven’s answer to critics who called him anything “less-than-a-virtuoso” in classical music, the 5th Symphony is oft considered by many to be the greatest piece of classical music ever written.
The 5th Symphony is also probably the most recognizable classical composition due to its opening four-note motif. This motif has been a cultural darling and has been used in everything from parodies to dramatized works.
Also referred to as the Victory symphony, the 5th Symphony is characterized by sweeping notes of struggle, heroism and transcendence.
1. 9th Symphony:
With his 9th Symphony, Beethoven ushered in a new era of music almost singlehandedly. The use of chorals had been previously discouraged by leading composers, but Beethoven changed all of that with the 9th, which was at its core, a fusion of art forms melding poetry, choral and instrumental music into one sweeping, majestic and musical ode to joy.
The fact that Beethoven was almost completely deaf by the time he finished writing the 9th serves to underline its greatness.
The 9th Symphony is transcendental. It breaks the boundaries of its own form and ascends to something more. Something shimmering. Something joyful.