Music is part of our life; we all have a favorite song, artist, group. A melody for sad days and the happiest or for that special moment.
Classical music is one of the oldest and longest-lived musical genres, it will never go out of style, and you will never stop listening to the most famous pieces by composers such as Mozart, Beethoven, or Chopin.
You probably heard some classical music for the first time at school, or perhaps at home; music is part of our education, culture, and history. Therefore, we have dedicated this post to talk a little more about the origin, legends, and milestones of classical music.
Classical music origin
Classical music is understood as any composition that emerged during classicism, which includes the years 1750 to 1820. This musical style was born as a form of rupture against the strict rules of baroque music characterized by their horizontal structure where several melodies overlapped at the same time.
The 18th and 19th centuries were the formative period of classical music and saw the birth of the opera and the oratorio, the sonata, the concert, and the symphony. Italians were the first to develop these genres, but the Germans, Austrians, and English soon followed. Classical music emerged by taking elements from other Western musical traditions, both liturgical and secular, such as the music of Ancient Greece or Ancient Rome, and underwent a synthesis with the musical traditions of the new territories.
In musical classicism, three types of musical compositions are also created:
- The sonata: music written for various instruments.
- The symphony: music to be performed by an orchestra.
- The concert: composition for orchestra performed by various instruments.
We can currently say that the genre has contributed to the formation of many modern styles, such as rock and pop, in which sounds typical of classical instrumentation are even combined to create new songs.
Johann Sebastian Bach
He was a German composer, stood out for his extraordinary command of the violin. A good part of his compositions saw the light in the Baroque period. It was characterized by using a precise musical technique. Among his most recognized compositions are the Brandenburg Concertos, the Passion according to St. Matthew, and the Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Who does not know Mozart? This prodigy of Austrian origin mastered the piano and was skilled with other instruments such as the violin. His talent and skill began at an early age; he was already composing at the age of five. Some of his best works are The Magic Flute, The Marriage of Figaro, and his well-known Requiem, which he wrote during his final days.
Ludwig van Beethoven
He is one of the best-known classical musicians. He was born in Bonn, a city in Germany, in the year 1770. Despite succeeding as a composer, he did not lead an easy life, especially when his hearing was affected and he began to lose the ability to listen. Hence his great ability and musical achievement. The 32 piano sonatas and the Ninth Symphony are two of his most famous works.
He´s from Poland; Chopin is considered one of the best musicians of Romanticism. His Concert for Piano and Orchestra No. 2 Op. 21 in F minor is probably the most outstanding composition he has ever made. The technique that can be appreciated within his works has earned him to be compared with artists of the stature of Beethoven or Bach.
Salieri and Mozart, truth or legend?
Considered a benchmark of Viennese musical classicism, Salieri profoundly influenced other artists such as Beethoven, Schubert, and Liszt. His works caused a sensation for decades in half of Europe. He was also a professor of vocal technique, piano, and counterpoint. However, Antonio Salieri today represents, above all, artistic envy. It is well known, his relationship, misinterpreted with the incredible Mozart.
Mozart died in 1791 when he was only 35 years old. Salieri, in 1825, 74 and insane. In that same decade, a biography exposed that the Austrian had complained, in agony, of having been poisoned. Salieri would also have proclaimed, blind, senile, and in a psychiatric hospital, that he had killed his colleague.
However, various studies have shown that both statements were delusions. Those of Salieri were due to mental deterioration. Those of Mozart, to an intense fever caused by pneumonia that, together with kidney failure, led him to the grave.
Why then this legend? A brilliant composer set against a successful but mediocre and intoxicated with jealousy, he made a dramatic game too tempting to ignore. So when the film Amadeus swept the Oscars in 1985, it only amplified on a massive scale a distorted story that had been heard for a century and a half.