A Year of Masterworks

A Year of Masterworks

I’ve been wanting lately to become better acquainted with Western Art Music–or classical music of the Western culture–my “Understanding Music” textbook in school used the former term as being more accurate. I have a decent familiarity with most of the “biggest hits” already, actually, thanks not only to the above-mentioned course, but also years of piano lessons  and growing up in a house that listened to a lot of classical music. I’ve been to quite a few symphony concerts and have a decent classical CD collection. But I don’t feel I know it as well as I should like. So I’ve decided that 2014 shall be the year of deeper exploration. Get to know the pieces that are familiar in sound by name. Listen to some of the best recordings. Learn more about their histories and their composers. Thanks to the internet, it’s easier than ever to listen to just about anything. And thanks to my long commute, I have plenty of time to listen to anything I can download. To save myself time, I’ll be using The NPR Guide to Building a Classical CD Collection as my primary resource in selecting works to “meet,” going through each section in chronological order. This will be a background project, but I hope a fun one.

1. Orchestral Works
  1. Bach (1685-1750)
  2. Handel (1685-1759)
  3. Hayden (1732-1809)
  4. Mozart (1756-1791)
  5. Beethoven (1770-1827)
  6. Schubert (1797-1828)
  7. Berlioz (1803-1869)
  8. Mendelssohn (1809-1847)
  9. Schumann (1810-1856)
  10. Liszt (1811-1886)
  11. Franck (1822-1937)
  12. Smetana (1824-1884)
  13. Bruckner (1824-1896)
  14. Strauss Family (c. 1830-1900)
  15. Brahms (1833-1897)
  16. Saint-Saëns (1835-1921)
  17. Bizet (1838-1875)
  18. Mussorgsky (1839-1881)
  19. Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)
  20. Dvořák (1841-1904)
  21. Grieg (1843-1907)
  22. Rimsky-Korsakov (1844-1908)
  23. Janáček (1854-1928)
  24. Elgar (1857-1934)
  25. Mahler (1860-1911)
  26. Debussy (1862-1918)
  27. Strauss, Richard (1864-1949)
  28. Nielsen (1865-1931)
  29. Sibelius (1865-1957)
  30. Vaughan Williams (1872-1958)
  31. Holst (1874-1934)
  32. Ives (1874-1954)
  33. Ravel (1875-1937)
  34. Falla (1876-1946)
  35. Respighi (1879-1936)
  36. Bartók (1881-1945)
  37. Stravinsky (1882-1971)
  38. Prokofiev (1891-1953)
  39. Hindemith (1895-1963)
  40. Gershwin (1898-1937)
  41. Copland (1900-1990)
  42. Shostakovich (1906-1975)
  43. Barber (1910-1981)
  44. Britten (1913-1976)
  45. Bernstein (1918-1990)
2. Concertos
3. Chamber Music
4. Solo Keyboard Works
5. Sacred and Choral Music
6. Opera
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