The splendor of classical music is backed by centuries of artistic efforts and development. The reason behind its progress is due to the diversity of sound, sophistication, and splendor. The use of classical music in operas, theatres, and dramas captivated the audience’s attention for hundreds of years.
Musicologists have divided classical music into 7 periods from the medieval period (1150 AD – 1400 AD) to the postmodern period (1930 – present). Some classical music pieces have become iconic due to their use in classic movies, ceremonies, and even in animated films. Let’s take a deeper dive into some of the famous classical music pieces of all time.
Top 4 classical music pieces you should know about:
Rimsky Korsakov – The Flight of the bumblebee (1899 – 1900)
The iconic orchestral piece of ‘Flight of the bumblebee’ was composed by Rimsky Korsakov for his opera ‘The tale of Tsar Saltan’. The motivation to compose the song is hidden in its name, as the artwork represents the rapid and chaotic flying movements of a bumblebee.
Although Rimsky Korsakov wanted a very short element of the tune to be a part of the opera, the piece has garnered abundant spotlight due to its extensive use. The music moves at an incredible speed with continuous chromatic passages making it very difficult for musicians to keep up with the beat. Contrary to the difficult beats, the range of notes and pitch is not a challenge.
The level of skill required to play this classic piece is considerably high.
Chopin Fantaisie – Impromptu (op. 66) (1834)
This classical music piece was written in 1834 by Frederic Francois Chopin but it wasn’t published until 1855 due to the firm instructions of Chopin not to publish his artworks as he received a commission from a baroness so technically it was her property. After Chopin’s death in 1855, it was published posthumously by his close companion.
The tone and harmony of Fantasie – impromptu are derived from Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata, which is also composed in C minor, and especially from the third movement. After the melody sets in, it runs at a faster pace similar to Sonata’s third movement but one octave higher.
Sergei Rachmaninoff Prelude – C# Minor (1892)
Also known as the ‘The Bells of Moscow’ gets its name from the first three notes played at the opening – A, C sharp, and G sharp. Rachmaninoff Prelude in C# Minor is a part of five piece music set of Morceaux de fantaisie.
This classical music piece belongs to the ABA form where A is a dense bell-like chordal structure with a hauntingly beautiful melody. B is staged like an anxiety attack, there seems some nervousness in the sound. The inspiration behind the music is said to have come from the dream Rachmaninoff saw where he is present at the funeral (Bells ‘A’) and then he sees himself in the coffin (Central part ‘B’).
Mozart – Rondo Alla Turca ‘Turkish March’ (1783)
One of the most famous classical music pieces of Mozart on which the basis of many future works depended is the third and final movement of his Sonata No. 11 K331 for piano. It is in ‘Rondo’ form and was named ‘Alla Turca’ by Mozart himself due to the influence of the Ottoman empire’s Turkish Janissary bands.
At the time when Mozart began writing the ‘Alla Turca’ military bands were recognized thus this reflected in this musical piece. Rondo Alla Turca quickly gained popularity due to its simplicity and was used widely in many future artworks.
These classic piano musical artworks are just a small sample of the wide classical music repertoire available. Sign up today to master the art of playing classical music at ease.