Starting to listen to classical music can be intimidating.Two distinct characteristics that differentiate classical music from pop music make it especially difficult modern listeners to begin listening to classical music.Classical music is not only great for relaxing, it can be actively enjoyed as well.
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Dark, furious, intense, melancholy, brooding—officially this work was composed as a memorial for the victims of fascism, but Shostakovich may have really intended a broader message, that of repudiation of totalitarianism in general (which would of course include the Soviet government…) (the ‘American’) by Antonin Dvorak.
String quartets by Bartok, one delightful one by Debussy.
The Messiah, usually performed around Christmas time, tells the story of the birth, life and death of Jesus. Before you ask me where my pink tutu is, know that this ballet is about ritualistic pagan sacrifices and ends with the slaughtering of a young girl, and was so controversial that it caused a riot when it premiered in 1913.
Yes, this one was also in (the dinosaur thing) but I'm not mining Walt Disney for music; it's just coincidence, and the fact that this is great music.
This work, composed during the Renaissance, definitely qualifies.
The legend has it that the Catholic Church was considering banning all music that was polyphonic, or exhibiting two or more independent melody lines running simultaneously. Supposedly Palestrina composed this work as a defense of polyphony, and it was heard by the proper authorities, who determined that polyphony could indeed be used in church music, and therefore this one work by Palestrina, dedicated to a pope who reigned for all of three weeks, changed the course of music history.
Certain segments of this are extremely popular and you will definitely recognize them.
There's a popular joke amongst art music aficionados that all the best Spanish classical music was written by Frenchmen. I guess you have to be a big music nerd like me to find that funny.
Despite these apparent deterrents, however, classical music has distinguishing factors that can actually be more appealing that popular music.
The length of classical pieces enables pieces to undergo more development.
The string quartet is one of the most important compositional vehicles in classical music, and Shostakovich (along with Beethoven, Mozart, Haydn, Bela Bartok) is considered one of the masters of this form.