I’ve been an avid listener of classical music for twenty years. I’ve listened to greatest hits, lesser-known recommendations, countless composers, all three periods, one-hit wonders, atonal crap, catchy melodies, and everything in between.
While I wouldn’t call my exposure exhaustive, I will say it has been thorough. And while other composers achieved greatness in their own way, none of them come close to the prolific genius of Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven. It’s not even close.
This is one of those pieces that separates the cliche-but-deserving trifecta from their contemporaries. I absolutely adore it, because it sounds like two people discussing a serious issue without ever fully arguing it.
As part of her piano lessons, my 7 year-old studies one piece of classical music each week, hand-picked by her teacher.
Consequently, our entire family has been exposed to wonderful music, stuff well beyond the popular Mozart, Bach, and Beethoven pieces. It’s like we’re getting a personal classical music DJ or curator, in addition to professional lessons. Score!
I plan to make a compilation of our favorite new discoveries. In the meantime, I’ll leave you with this playful, beautiful, and surprising dandy by Haydn, which was the study assignment for this week.
Reason #428: The YouTube comment thread for Maurice Ravel’s masterful single-movement crescendo, BolÃ©ro. Some of my favorites:
- doesn’t anyone ever feel bad for the drummer?
- if i could squeeze my whole childhood into one thing it? would be this song
- If I had a dollar for every poorly written Ravel piece, I’d have zero? dollars.
- I love the? part from 0:00 to 14:52
- Little known fact is that this was originaly going to be the legend of zelda theme. Look? it up.
- I’m more into house music,hip-hop and reagge but this music is? a master piece.
- thumbs up? if your awesome taste of music brought you here.
- The trombone part at 8:00 gives me goosebumps every time i hear it, without fail. amazing how jazz was such an influence in orchestral? 20th century music. love it!
- As someone who has played this snare part, I can confirm that it is indeed excruciating.?
Although I really like this piece, the only thing I don’t like is the tempo change right at the ending climax. With the flat (or is it sharp?) notes, it comes off sounding a bit sloppy. If I were a conductor, I’d remix it to keep the tempo, kill the flat notes, and finish strong on the last note like it already does. Either way, the YouTube commenters are witty if not insightful.
Piano is hands down the greatest instrument ever made. Even better than drums. And as far as genres go, classical is, without a doubt, the most timeless music ever.
What happens when you combine the two in their most essential forms? You get this: The best classical piano sonatas ever written.
Before I move on, please note: I use the term “sonata” a bit loosely — my list includes some pieces with no additional movements. But I am using the term “classical” strictly — anything from the common practice period of 1600-1910, spanning baroque, classical, and romantic periods.
So put on your powdered wig. Dress in a frilly shirt. And don’t applaud during the pauses, please. It’s the top 10 best classical piano sonatas of all-time. Continue reading…