Introduction to Classical Music/Composers
These are a few of the most famous classical composers.
Johann Sebastian Bach
Johann Sebastian Bach (born March 21, 1685, died July 28, 1750) was an important German composer and organist whose famous works for choir, orchestra and solo instruments drew together almost all of the parts of the baroque style. Although he did not introduce any new musical forms, he enriched the German style with a robust and dazzling technique of musical lines that complimented one another. He also adapted rhythms and textures from abroad, particularly of Italy and France.
Bach's forceful techniques and vast output have earned him fame as one of the greatest composers in the Western world. His works are honored for their depth and technical achievements along with artistic beauty. His works include the Brandenburg concertos, the keyboard suites and partitas, the Mass in B Minor, the St. Matthew Passion, The Musical Offering, The Art of Fugue and a large number of cantatas, of which about 220 survive.
Bach sample: Goldberg Variations Aria (this piece on Musopen)
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (born January 27, 1756, died December 5, 1791) is among the most significant and enduringly popular composers of European classical music. His enormous output includes works that are widely acknowledged as pinnacles of symphonic, chamber, piano, operatic, and choral music. Many of his works are part of the standard concert repertory and are widely recognized as masterpieces of the classical style.
Mozart sample: The Marriage of Figaro - Overture (this piece on Musopen)
Ludwig van Beethoven
Ludwig van Beethoven (born December 17, 1770, died March 26, 1827) was a German composer and pianist. He is considered one of classical music's supreme composers, and was an important figure between the Classical and Romantic eras in music. His reputation and genius has inspired musicians and audiences for years.
He was born in Bonn and moved to Vienna, Austria in his early twenties, where he settled. He studied with Joseph Haydn and quickly gained a reputation as a virtuoso pianist. In his late twenties he began to lose his hearing, but still continued to produce masterpieces.
Beethoven sample: Sonata No. 1 in F Minor, Op. 2 No. 1 - I. Allegro (this piece on Musopen)
Johannes Brahms (born May 7, 1833, died April 3, 1897) was a German composer of Romantic music, who mostly lived in Vienna. He was born in Hamburg. Brahms showed talent on the piano when he was young, and helped out his family by playing and teaching for money.
Brahms sample: Concerto in A Minor 'Double Concerto' - I. Allegro (this piece on Musopen)