Favourites in classical music

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Martha Argerich, one of the great pianists of our age.

 

Sometimes I get in a classical mood.  That is to say, I feel moved to listen to classical music.  I first discovered classical music about ten or so years ago.  Before this point in my life, I would hear it while scanning the radio and in other places but I didn’t enjoy it, ridiculing it to a degree because I thought it sounded ridiculous.  I simply didn’t understand it and I still completely don’t, but I feel it.  After I took the time to actually listen to classical music though, I was pulled in by an irresistible yearning to hear and explore more of it.  I first fell in love with the compositions of Mozart and afterwards, I delved into Beethoven as well as Chopin, Liszt, Bach, Scarlatti, Handel and others.  Not many grabbed my attention like Mozart and Beethoven.  For me, these two are gods amongst men in the world of music.  Their works far surpass those of many modern musicians by the sheer scope, virtuosity and mastery of composition.

Of note is the fact that many of Beethoven and Mozart’s works follow a pattern of fast, slow, fast (although this is not always the case).  For example, a composition 30 minutes long would be split up into 3 movements.  The first movement is in fast paced tempo, the second movement is in slow paced tempo and the third movement returns to a fast paced tempo once again.  The movements are also named in Italian, “in accordance with the Italian origins of many European musical conventions.”  I almost exclusively listen to the faster paced movements because those are the ones I enjoy the most.  You didn’t like all the songs on a CD usually back in the day right?  Same concept of liking the fast tempo movements over the slower tempo ones for me.

Another thing to note is that there are chronological catalogue number systems for Mozart and Beethoven’s compositions, such as the Köchel-Verzeichnis system (KV for short) for the former and the Opus number system (Op. for short) for the latter.  Each piece also contains in its description what key it is and whether it is a minor or major scale but I did not include that here because that is usually in the linked video.  Here is a list of my current top ten Mozart and top ten Beethoven compositions (it’s tough to say that any one of these is better than another, for they are all amazing and stick out to me amongst the other compositions which are also great).

 

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Mozart

1.) Piano Concerto No.10 for 2 pianos, 3d movement – Rondeaux-Allegro

2.) Symphony No.1, KV 16 1st movement – Allegro molto

3.) Piano Concerto No.23, 3d movement – Allegro assai

4.) Piano Sonata No.9, KV 311-284c 1st movement – Allegro con spirito (0:00 to 4:20)

5.) Piano Concerto No.20, 1st movement – Rondo (Allegro assai) (24:38)  

6.) Sonata for two pianos KV 448 1st and 3d movements- Allegro molto (0:00 to 8:00 and 18:04 to end)

7.) Violin Sonata No.18, 1st movement – Allegro con spirito (0:00 to 8:25)

8.) Symphony No. 39, KV 543, 4th movement – Allegro

9.) 12 Variations in C KV 179-189a

10.) Church Sonata No.14 (0:00 to 3:27)

 


 

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Beethoven

1.) Concerto for piano and orchestra No.1, 1st and 3d movements (0:00 to 17:48 and 29:47 to 39:04)
The only one of the mentioned pieces that I have seen played live, by famous pianist Lang Lang.

2.) Concerto for piano and orchestra No.5, Op.73, 1st and 3d movements (0:00 to 21:08 and 30:32 to end)

3.) Rondo for piano and orchestra, WoO 6 – Allegro (the meaning of WoO)

4.) Piano Concerto No.2, Op.19, 3d movement Rondo, Molto Allegro

5.) Piano and Cello sonata No1, Op.5 – Allegro

6.) Beethoven Cello Sonata No. 3 In A Major, Op. 69

7.) Overture “Leonore Op.72

8.) Overture “Fidelio” Op.72

9.) Concert for piano and orchestra No.3, Op.37, 1st and 3d movements (0:00 to 16:50 and 28:38 to end)

10.) Concerto for piano and orchestra, WoO 4 – Rondo

Even though the list is full, I couldn’t ignore this one:

Twelve Variations on the Mozart theme “Ein Mädchen oder Weibchen” from Mozart’s opera The Magic Flute.

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