Saturday, September 06, 2008

A quick free crash course in the greatest composers and greatest pieces of classical music.

The quickest crash course in classical music you're likely to find anywhere! And when you're ready to go further, also check out the Classical music learning and appreciation resources page.

Pronunciation guide

Be sure to keep the audio pronunciation guide to composers and performers handy (allows you to listen to audio of the correct pronunciation) as you go. (Here is an alternate list with additional audio samples of correct pronunciations.) You might also like to use a pronunciation resource used by some classical music announcers, the Pronouncing Dictionary of Music and Musicians.

Famous composers and music to familiarize yourself with

First are six videos containing brief audio clips of famous works by famous composers, with a picture and brief bio of each. Following those are three videos, each containing very short excerpts of famous and popular classical pieces.

Famous composers:

Famous music:
1) Pachelbel, Canon in D major.
2) Charpentier, Te Deum. Prelude.
3) Vivaldi, The Four Seasons. Spring.
4) Bach, Cantata BWV. 147. Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring.
5) Bach, Cello Suite No.1, BWV 1007. Prelude.
6) Bach, Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 565.
7) Haendel, Messiah HWV 56, Hallelujah.
8) Haendel, Water Music HWV 348-350, Alla Hornpipe.
9) Mozart, Overture to The Marriage of Figaro, KV 492.
10) Mozart, Symphony 40 in G minor, KV 550. 1st Mov.
11) Mozart, Eine Kleine Nachtmusic KV 525.
12) Mozart, Rondo Alla Turca, KV 331.
13) Mozart, Piano Concerto No.20, KV 466. Romance.
14) Beethoven, Symphony No. 3, Heroica.
15) Beethoven, Symphony No. 5. Allegro con Brio.
16) Beethoven, Symphony No. 6, Pastoral.
17) Beethoven, Symphony No. 9. Choral.
18) Beethoven, Ruins of Athens Op. 113. Turkish March.
19) Beethoven, Bagatelle in A minor. Fur Elise.
20) Beethoven, Moonlight Sonata Op.27.
21) Schubert, Trout Quintet. Die Forelle Op. 114.
22) Schubert, Ave Maria.
23) Schubert, Symphony No. 8, Unfinished.

1) Strauss Jr: Blue Danube Waltz.
2) Strauss Jr: Emperor Waltz.
3) Brahms: Hungarian Dance No.5.
4) Wagner: The ride of the Valkyries.
5) Wagner: Tannhauser Overture.
6) Mendelssohn: Wedding March.
7) Offenbach: Can Can.
8) Tchaikovsky: Symphony No.4.
9) Tchakovsky: Symphony No.5.
10) Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake. Lake in Midnight.
11) Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake. Waltz.
12) Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker. Waltz of the Flowers.
13) Tchaikovsky: Capriccio Italien Op. 45.
14) Tchaikovsky: 1812 Overture.
15) Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No.1.
16) Liszt: Hungarian Rhapsody No.2.
17) Liszt: Dreams of Love.
18) Liszt: La Campanella.
19) Schumann: Traumerei.
20) Chopin: Piano Concerto No.1.
21) Chopin: Etude Op.10, No.1.
22) Chopin: Etude Op.10, No.3.
23) Chopin: Etude Op.10, No.12.
24) Chopin: Polonaise Heroic Op.53.
25) Chopin: Waltz Op.64 No.1 "Minute Waltz".
26) Chopin: Polonaise Brillante in C major op.3 Cello and Piano.

1) Bizet, Habanera (Carmen).
2) Bizet, Les Toreadors (Carmen).
3) Rossini, The Barber of Seville. (Overture).
4) Rossini, William Tell (Overture).
5) Rossini, Largo al Fatotum.
6) Rossini, La Gazza Ladra.
7) Grieg, In the Hall of the Mountain King (Peer Gynt).
8) Grieg, Morning. (Peer Gynt).
9) Dvorak, New World Symphonie.
10) Berlioz, Symphonie Fantastique.
11) Elgar, Pomp and Circumstance March No.1.
12) Saint Saens, Danse Macabre.
13) Suppe, Light Cavalry Overture
14) Rachmaninov, Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini.
15) Rachmaninov, Prelude in G minor.
16) Strauss R, Also sprach Zarathustra.
17) Rimsky Korsakov, Flight of the Bumblebee.
18) Puccini, Nessun Dorma (Turandot). (Pavarotti).
19) Verdi, La Donna e Mobile (Rigoletto).
20) Shostakovich, Waltz 2 from Jazz Suite.
21) Sousa, Stars and Stripes Forever.
22) Ravel, Bolero.
23) Gershwin, Rhapsody in Blue.
24) Khachaturian, Sabre dance.
25) Orff, Carmina Burana. Oh Fortuna.
26) Rodrigo, Concierto de Aranjuez.

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  1. This is great! I'm going to be MORE uber classy now at the next Eastside pahtee. Knows my wines & classical music now. And fine cigars too!

  2. Now now! Some people are just looking for a starting point that gives them an overview. Learning classical music can be intimidating … I'm just trying to take the edge off!