is found in every known culture, past and present.It has been in existence for at least 50,000 years
and has evolved to become a fundamental aspect of human life.A country’s music is influenced
by all areas of that culture, including social and economic organization and experience, climate, and access to
technology.Some of the most influential people in history have contributed to the landscape of music.Composers have been around for generations, creating rhythm, sound, and happiness. I have collected
a list of 10 of the most influential compositions and opera favorites.
Dance No. 5 (1889)
By: Johannes Brahms
Dances by Johannes Brahms are a set of 21 lively dance tunes based mostly on Hungarian themes.Only
numbers 11, 14, and 16 are entirely original compositions. In fact, number 5 was based on the csárdás by Kéler Béla titled Bártfai emlék, which Brahms mistakenly thought was a traditional folksong.The collection is among Brahms' most popular work and was certainly the most profitable for him.Each dance piece has been arranged with a wide variety of instruments and ensembles.I have
included the most famous Hungarian Dance No. 5 in F minor.
9. Nessun dorma
By: Luciano Pavarotti
Nessun dorma (none
shall sleep) is an aria from the final act of Giacomo Puccini's opera Turandot.It is one of the
best-known tenor arias in all opera.Giacomo Puccini was a famous Italian composer who wrote many operas in the early 20th century.In Turandot the song is performed by Calaf, who falls in love
with the beautiful but cold Princess Turandot. However, any man who wishes to wed Turandot must first answer her three riddles.If he fails, he will be beheaded.In 1990, Nessun dorma was recorded
by Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti.
version of the song was used as the theme song of BBC television's coverage of the 1990 FIFA World Cup in Italy.It subsequently reached #2 on the UK Singles Chart, the highest placing ever for a classical recording.Nessun dorma has been featured in many motion pictures, including The Killing Fields, The Sum of All Fears, and
Bend It Like Beckham.
8. Adagio for
Composed By: Samuel Barber
Adagio for Strings is a
composed work arranged by American Samuel Barber.The piece was developed for a string orchestra.It originated as the second movement in his String Quartet No. 1, Op. 11, composed in 1936. Barber’s
composition follows a violently contrasting first movement, and is succeeded by a brief reprise.Adagio
for Strings is performed in the key of B-flat minor.In 2004, listeners of the BBC's Today
program voted Adagio the "saddest classical" work ever.In the United States
the song is often played in mourning of the September 11, 2001 attacks.It has been sampled by
the British rock band Muse and appeared in feature films Platoon and Amélie.
7. Piano Concerto
No. 2 (1900)
Composed By: Sergei Rachmaninoff
The Piano Concerto
No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18, is a concerto for piano and orchestra, composed by Sergei Rachmaninoff between the autumn of
1900 and April 1901.Sergei Rachmaninoff was a Russian-American composer, pianist, and conductor.
He was one of the finest pianists of his day.As a composer Rachmaninoff was one
of the last great representations of late Russian Romantic classical music.The piano plays a prominent
role in Rachmaninoff's compositional output, either as a solo instrument or as part of an ensemble.
Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 is written in a three-movement concerto form.It uses 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 4 horns, 3 trombones (2 tenor, bass), tuba, bass
drum, solo piano, strings, and many more instruments. The opening movement begins with a series of bell-like tolling
on the piano, eventually climaxing in the introduction of the main theme.
Nocturne Op. 9, No. 2 (1833)
Composed By: Frédéric Chopin
Performed By: Yundi Li
Nocturnes, Op. 9 are a set of three nocturnes written by Frédéric Chopin between 1830 and 1832.They were dedicated to Madame Camille Pleyel. Frédéric Chopin was a Polish composer and virtuoso
pianist.He was one of the great masters of Romantic music.Chopin's compositions were written primarily for the piano as a solo instrument.He
was responsible for major innovations in the piano sonata, mazurka, waltz, nocturne, étude, impromptu and
prélude.Chopin composed Nocturne Op. 9, No. 2 when he was only 20-years-old.Like
much of Chopin's music, this nocturne is tinged with melancholy.It is reflective until it suddenly
becomes passionate near the conclusion.Frédéric Chopin died in Paris when he was only
39-years- old.He suffered from pulmonary tuberculosis.
5. Time to Say
Performed By: Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman
Con te partirò
is an Italian song written by Francesco Sartori (music) and Lucio Quarantotto (lyrics).It was first
sung by Andrea Bocelli at the 1995 San Remo Festival and recorded on his album.In 1997, Bocelli and soprano Sarah Brightman collaborated on the song and renamed it Time to Say Goodbye.Time to Say Goodbye was an international success and reached #1 all over the world.It is the
best selling single in the history of opera music and has sold an astounding 11 million copies.
Cello Suite No.1- Prelude (1723)
Composed By: Johann Sebastian Bach
Six Suites for Unaccompanied Cello by Johann Sebastian Bach are acclaimed as some of the greatest works ever written
for solo cello.They were most likely composed during the period 1717–1723, when Bach served as a Kapellmeister in Köthen, Germany.Johann Sebastian Bach’s contributions to choir, orchestra, and solo instruments helped identify the strands of the Baroque period of
The suites contain a great variety
of technical devices, a wide range of emotionally soothing content, and some of Bach's most compelling voice interactions
and conversations.It is their intimacy that has made the suites amongst Bach's most popular works
today.The Prelude to Suite No. 1 is probably the best known movement from the entire set and is regularly
heard on television and films.
3. The Music
of the Night (1986)
Composed By: Andrew Lloyd Webber
The Music of the Night
is a song from the musical The Phantom of the Opera. The music was written by Andrew Lloyd Webber
with lyrics by Charles Hart.The composition was made famous by Michael Crawford, the actor who
originated the role of the Phantom both in London and on Broadway.The Music of the Night has sold
millions of copies worldwide and has been translated into many different languages.
In the musical, it is sung after the Phantom lures Christine Daaé down to his lair beneath the Opera House. He seduces Christine with "his music" of the night, with
his voice putting her into a trance.The Phantom of the Opera is the most successful entertainment
project in history, grossing more than US $5 billion worldwide by 2007.
2. Requiem (1791)
Composed By: Wolfgang
The Requiem Mass in D minor
was composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in 1791, during the last year of his life.The requiem was
Mozart's last composition and is one of his most popular and respected works.It is scored
for 2 basset-horns, 2 bassoons, 2 trumpets, 3 trombones (alto, tenor & bass), timpani (2 drums), violins, viola,
and basso continuo. In his life Mozart wrote over 600 works, many acknowledged as pinnacles
of symphonic, concertante, chamber, piano, operatic, and choral music.He is among the most popular
of all classical composers.Sadly, Mozart died of a sudden and mysterious sickness in 1791.He was only 35-years-old.
Piano Concerto No. 21
The Piano Concerto No.
21 was completed on March 9, 1785 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, four weeks after the completion of the previous D minor concerto.It contains three movements and is one of Mozart’s most prized works.
1. Piano Sonata
No. 14 (1801)
Composed By: Ludwig van Beethoven
The Piano Sonata
No. 14 is a work by German composer Ludwig van Beethoven.It is popularly known as the Moonlight Sonata
and is rumored to be dedicated to his pupil, Countess Giulietta Guicciardi.Beethoven was a crucial
figure in the transitional period between the Classical and Romantic eras in Western classical music, and remains one
of the most acclaimed and influential composers of all time.His hearing began to deteriorate in the late 1790s, yet he continued to compose, conduct, and perform, even after becoming completely deaf.The
Moonlight Sonata possesses an end- weighted trajectory, so the climax is not reached until the third movement.It remains one of Beethoven’s most cherished creations.
Pomp and Circumstance
March Number 1 (1901)
Composed By: Edward Elgar
The Pomp and
Circumstance Marches, Op. 39 are a series of marches for orchestra composed by Sir Edward Elgar.Elgar was a famous English composer during the early 19th century.He composed many
works, including oratorios, chamber music, songs, and symphonies.Elgar was appointed Master
of the King's Musick in 1924.March No. 1 was composed in 1901 and dedicated "To my friend
Alfred E. Rodewald and the members of the Liverpool Orchestral Society.”
It is the best known piece of Elgar’s collection and uses a wide variety of musical instruments.In the United States, the Trio section "Land of Hope and Glory" of March No. 1 is played
as the processional tune at virtually all high school and college graduation ceremonies.It was first
played at such a ceremony on 28 June 1905, at Yale University.
Lux Aeterna (2000)
Composed By: Clint
Lux Aeterna (the
eternal light) is a composition by Clint Mansell.It was created for the 2000 film Requiem for a Dream.Clint Mansell is a British musician, composer, and former lead singer and guitarist of the band Pop Will
Eat Itself.Mansell broke into the world of film scoring in 1996 with the movie π.The popularity of Lux Aeterna has led to its use in popular culture, mostly in film trailers and commercials.It has been used for the movies Avatar, I Am Legend, The Da Vinci Code, and The Lord of the Rings.