Classical Composers: Claudio Monteverdi (1567 – 1643) The Renaissance
While the history of music dates back to prehistoric tribes, we begin our journey through the Renaissance (late 14th-17th century). That was when classical composers were finally able to print their works. The Gutenberg printing press (1450) contributed to musical diffusion. At this time, in addition, the first instrument tuning systems are born and the notes with sharps, flats to begin to be altered, seeking greater expressiveness.
There are several Renaissance music schools: Franco-Flemish, English, German, Spanish, and above all, Italian, which stands out for classical composers like Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina and Claudio Monteverdi.
Monteverdi is a key classical music composer in the transition between the Renaissance and the musical Baroque. Their madrigals are famous (musical pieces of three to six voices that tell a secular story), as well as L’ Orfeo , which is considered the first opera in history.
Classical Composers: Georg Friedrich Haendel (1685-1759) Baroque
The main characteristic of baroque music (from 1600 to 1750) is the contrast: the opposition is sought in rhythm, nuances, loudness, instruments, etc. In addition, at this time the orchestra (which at the moment is still small) emerges with instruments grouped by families: string, wind and sometimes percussion.
Friedrich Haendel is one of the most important classical composers of this stage. German nationalized English, Haendel begins writing operas in Italian, without success. However, he realizes that they do work in English, so he dedicates his career to instrumental and vocal works in this language. He played music to the great court events, such as Water Music composed for boat trips on the Thames King George I.
His most famous work is The Messiah, one of the fundamental pieces of sacred music of all time.
Wolfang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) Classicism
Amadeus Mozart was a child prodigy who at the age of six was already an advanced violin performer, but had a short life and full of economic hardships.
In spite of everything, in his 35 years of life, this music genius composed more than 600 pieces. His work covers all genres: symphonies, entertainment, sonatas, chamber music, concerts, opera, and church music. His last composition, a Requiem Mass, was unfinished, as a renal ailment ended the life of Wolfang Amadeus in 1791. Only a few friends went to Mozart’s funeral who however, exerted a great influence on music composers Classic later.
Classical Composers: Ludwig Van Beethoven (1770-1827) Beginnings Of Romanticism
Musical Romanticism begins in 1800, with the 1st Symphony of Ludwig van Beethoven. At this time, the creative freedom of the artist is defended. Beethoven will be considered the first independent artist. You no longer appeal to reason, but to feel. Music becomes a language that tries to express what cannot be explained with words. Each romantic author has a personal, subjective style.
Beethoven studied with Joseph Haydn, and although he said he had learned nothing from him, he immediately assimilated Viennese classicism. Little by little, he created his own language, in all musical genres. He became the greatest of classical composers born.
Most of Beethoven’s best-known works belong to his first stage, the so-called ‘heroic decade’. However, the deafness of the musician caused him to isolate himself from society just when his fame reached its climax, and since 1818, his music was relegated to a small group of experts, except for the premieres of Symphony No. 9 and Missa Solemnis.