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10 iconic pieces of Classical Music
Let's take a closer look at ten iconic pieces of classical music.
Not long ago we, not without some difficulty, tried to locate the 50 masterpieces that have marked the history of Classical Music in an attempt to propose pieces that can well represent the history of music from the 1600s up to the present day.

Today we will try to do a similar thing, trying to collect the ten iconic pieces that have played a fundamental role in terms of beauty, complexity and uniqueness and that have also become iconic thanks to their use in particular events such as films, advertisements, ceremonies and even cartoons .

Let's move on to listening to these immortal songs!

Toccata and Fugue in D minor BWV 565 by JS Bach
It has been associated with intense or even frightening moments in cinema and popular culture, perhaps because it famously appeared in the opening credits of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931). Bach's extraordinary talent and powerful compositional voice are on full display in his Toccata and Fugue in D minor, first on our list of some of the most iconic classical music compositions ever written.
Bagatella n. 25 in A minor, "Für Elise" by Ludwig Van Beethoven
 This piece was never published in Beethoven's lifetime. In fact, the “Für Elise” was only discovered forty years after her death in 1827. As a result, no one knows for sure who the Elise of the title was. Some musicologists even think that the title was copied incorrectly and that it was originally called "Für Therese", but regardless of the identity of the lucky recipient of the dedication of this work, we can all agree that it is one of the most fascinating piano compositions never written. With its simple yet captivating melody and timeless beauty, the Bagatella n. Beethoven's 25 in A minor has inspired countless reinterpretations.
Piano Sonata No. 14 in C sharp minor, op. 27, no. 2, "Moonlight Sonata" by Ludwig Van Beethoven
 Unlike "Für Elise", the Moonlight Sonata became one of the most popular during Beethoven's lifetime and still remains one of the most beloved compositions of his lifetime. Beethoven wrote Sonata No. 14 in C sharp minor at the age of thirty and dedicated it to the Countess Giulietta Guicciardi, who had studied piano with the composer. If you've ever taken piano lessons, been with someone who took piano lessons, or even grappled with the keys to make some music, you're probably familiar with the incipit of the Moonlight Sonata.
"Messiah" by George Frideric Handel
 It's hard to put into words what makes Handel's Messiah an icon. Handel composed Messiah, an English-language oratorio retelling the story of Jesus Christ, in 1741. Messiah was first performed in Dublin on 13 April 1742 and premiered in London nearly a year later. After a modest reception, the oratorio gained popularity and became one of the best-known choral pieces. The "Hallelujah" chorus is one of the most famous pieces of Baroque choral music and the best known section of the work. Though originally written for Easter, Handel's Messiah has become the mainstay of every holiday. From its memorable melodies to its celebrated choruses, Messiah is a grand and radiant display of the power of classical music to move humanity and share stories like no other art form can.
Serenade no. 13 in G major, K 525, "Eine kleine Nachtmusik" by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
 The incandescent Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart composed music for thirty of his 35 years of life and today his name is known to practically everyone in the world. Eine kleine Nachtmusik (Little Night Serenade) is probably his most recognizable work, especially the first movement. Outside of concert halls, you're likely to hear it to keep phone users on hold or to advertise an impressive array of products. With his notorious sense of humour, the composer would surely have had a good laugh!
"On the Beautiful Blue Danube" by Johann Strauss (son) 
Already known in his day as "the king of the waltz", Johann Strauss is an example of a classical composer who achieved the equivalent of a modern rock star in his lifetime. On the Beautiful Blue Danube is the best known of his works, a significant ranking given that Strauss' written repertoire includes more than 500 pieces of dance music (waltzes, polkas, quadrilles, etc.) as well as several operettas and a ballet. It was performed for the first time on February 15, 1867 in the hall of the Dianabad. Despite the heat in the packed hall and an extremely long program (5 hours), the enthusiastic audience demanded an encore. The "Danube Waltz", as it is more simply called by the Viennese, was conceived as a choral piece. Shortly after the first performance Johann Strauss published an orchestral version, which caused a sensation at balls and concerts in the same year and is still synonymous today with the quintessential waltz.
Thus Spoke Zarathustra (Also sprach Zarathustra), Op. 30 by Richard Strauss
 Richard and Johann Strauss were not related, but they share a posthumous debt to Stanley Kubrick, who included Johann's signature tune and Richard Strauss' Einleitung (Introduction) on the soundtrack to his now iconic 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey . After the film, the Einleitung was used extensively in pop culture and advertising and beyond, Elvis Presley used to use a rearrangement of this work as the opening track of his concerts and for a short time from 1995 to 1996 the piece was the acronym of the regional newspaper Rai.

Bedřich (Friedrich) Smetana, The Moldau (Die Moldau)
 “Die Moldau” (The Moldau) is the most famous piece by the Czech composer Bedřich Smetana. It comes from the symphonic cycle "My Homeland" and sets the course of the river of the same name, the largest in the Czech Republic, also known as the "Bohemia Sea", to music in a unique way. Smetana transforms images of nature into sound and “Die Moldau” has long since become a kind of substitute national anthem of the Czech Republic. By the way: when Smetana started this complex work in 1874, he was already completely deaf!

Gioachino Rossini, The Barber of Seville (1816)
 It is the most famous example of opera buffa, a comic opera with a lot of humor and even more cheerfulness. Since its debut in 1816, the opera has entertained generations of listeners. His secret? A story full of surprises and music of inexhaustible energy, in which some of the most famous numbers in the history of melodrama follow one another, such as Largo al factotum intoned by Figaro as he enters the stage. “A barber who arranges marriages, a count who pretends to be a drunken soldier, a sweet girl ready to turn into a viper... In Rossini's Barber of Seville nothing is as it seems, because only deceit can make love triumph. The protagonist, Rosina, would like to marry Count Almaviva but her guardian, the perfidious Don Bartolo, prevents her from doing so. The lovers' only ally is the barber Figaro, who will untie the knots of a tangled plot armed only with a comb, scissors and formidable cunning."
The 10 unforgettable soundtracks of Ennio Morricone
From A Fistful of Dollars to Once Upon a Time in America, through Novecento and Nuovo Cinema Paradiso, here are some of the immortal compositions that the great master composed for cinema. Ennio Morricone, the undisputed talent of world music, has become famous and immortal above all thanks to his film soundtracks. His career is endless, so much so that his compositions also appear in films that we would hardly associate with his name. Many songs are destined to remain forever in the history of music.
A comment on YouTube “Since I was a child I have always loved the music of Ennio Morricone, I watched some films just to hear his music. After about twenty years I was lucky enough to see him live for the first time and this concert is one of these times. Pure emotion. Since then I have always tried to see as many concerts as possible. Until the last one at the Baths of Caracalla in Rome, in 2019. I knew it would be the last time I would see and hear him live. I cried throughout the concert, tears falling from my chin to the floor. I will never forget the emotions it gave me. Simply unique.”

At 38:55 the song "The good, the bad, the ugly", the solo voice is by the soprano Susanna Rigacci

There is more

The passages cited certainly deserve to be considered, and there are dozens that we have left out and we apologize, but some deserve the Honorable Mention

Elgar: Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1

Pachelbel: Canon in D

Tchaikovsky: Nutcrackers Suite

Vivaldi: The Four Seasons

Wagner: "Ride of the Valkyries"

Reproduction Reserved © 2023 Copyright Classical Concert Players

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