The Classical Music Top 10 List
CLASSICAL MUSIC IS perhaps the most underrated genre of music today, which is a shame because there is something in it for everyone. Whether you're storming the heavens with Beethoven, listening to the sweet sounds of Mozart, or enjoying the refined elegance of Haydn, you will no doubt find something to enjoy.
If you haven't done so already, I strongly urge you to give classical music a try. If you find it to your liking, then your life will be enriched with some of the greatest pieces of music ever written. If not, then you can at least say that you gave it a shot. (No harm done)
Here are the Top 10 works in classical music (according to Socrates):
#10 - Schubert's 8th Symphony ("Unfinished") & 9th Symphony ("The Great"). The world lost a great composer of potentially colossal proportions when Franz Schubert died at the age of 31. The Unfinished Symphony, consisting of only two movements, is one of the most un-Beethovenlike symphonies of the period. Although Schubert had struggled with writing in some of the larger forms, The Great C-major Symphony shows that he was finally beginning to grasp the concept of composing on a grand scale. Both symphonies are perfect examples of his gift for melody.
#9 - Brahms' three Violin Sonatas. While many pieces of music are extroverted and written for the masses, these works of Johannes Brahms (especially the 1st and 2nd sonatas) are intimate and personal in nature. Clara Schumann, widow of Brahms' close personal friend Robert Schumann, wrote that she was deeply moved by the 1st sonata. Indeed, this piece feels as if it were written (and intended) for only one person. From the very start of the first movement, you can feel Brahms pouring out his heart through the violin. It's not hard to see why this sonata so deeply touched Clara.
#8 - Beethoven's 4th Piano Concerto. Ludwig van Beethoven's 5th ("Emperor") concerto may be more popular, but I prefer the 4th. It is unique compared to other piano concertos written at the time, since most were intended to show off the dazzling technical skills of the pianist. Beethoven, though, chose not to write music so full of hype with little depth. The 4th concerto opens with the solo piano rather than the orchestra, which (as with many of Beethoven's works) shocked his audiences. But the character of the piece isn't shocking at all. This is a lyrical, reflective work — a must-listen.
#7 - Haydn's set of 6 string quartets, opus 76. Franz Josef Haydn may not have had the natural gifts of a Mozart or the raw emotion of a Beethoven, but he quite often reached their heights. His quartets are all masterpieces, but the set of six quartets, op. 76 show the wit and wisdom of a man who mastered the genre through good old-fashioned hard work. Two that stand out are the 3rd ("Emperor") and 4th ("Sunrise"). Each have wonderful opening movements — a treat for the ears.Continued on the next page