The Personal Website of Mark W. Dawson

Containing His Articles, Observations, Thoughts, Meanderings,
and some would say Wisdom (and some would say not).

Classical Music Appreciation

An Introduction for those that know little or nothing about Classical Music.

Table of Contents

I must confess that I have never written about music, never studied music, and never played a musical instrument. I don't know the difference between an allegro and an adagio, I am unfamiliar with scales and tempo, and a musical score looks like a Rorschach test to me. Having presented my credentials I should also inform you that I have extensively listened to Classical Music for almost fifty years. I come to this discussion not as an expert, but as a lover of Classical Music. I have definite likes and dislikes, and these are based only on what I have listened too for the past fifty years.

Much has been said and written about the importance of dead white men in regards to modern times. Much has changed in the last fifty years. However, the basic human emotions (love, happy, hopeful, sad. angry, scared, insecure, suspicious, jealous) are still with us. As long as these emotions are with us composers, artists, and writers who expressed these basic human emotions are relevant. They help us to understand these emotions, and the conflicts within us as a result of these emotions. Exploring what they say about these emotions and conflicts is exploring the human soul. And exploring the human soul is always relevant. The settings and society may be different today but the emotions are the same. Therefore, as Classical Music explores these emotions Classical Music is still relevant.

So why did I decide to write something now, and more important is what do I have to contribute to Classical Music appreciation? In my interactions with others, in regard to Classical Music, I have noticed an attitude in the general public that Classical Music lovers were highbrow and snobbish to those who did not appreciate Classical Music. Although this is true for many lovers of Classical Music it is definitely not true for most lovers of Classical Music. Most Classical Music lovers tend to remain silent on the subject of Classical Music unless they are asked for an opinion, which they then discuss with the questioner. I have also noticed that many people remark on a piece of music that they have heard in a television or film, or within a commercial, etc. that they liked and wanted to know what it was. Often this music is an excerpt from a Classical Music piece. There is also a great appreciation for film scores among the general public without the realizations that many film scores are the cousinsof Classical Music and share many of the attributes of Classical Music. I, therefore, believe, that if Classical Music were presented properly there would be a much greater interest in Classical Music from the general public. This paper is an attempt to stimulate that appreciation so that many more of the general public will at least sample Classical Music and gain an appreciation, if not a larger interest in Classical Music. I do this by presenting my knowledge of Classical Music Appreciation and as a guide of the most popular Classical Music that would be of interest to the general public.

The best way to appreciate Classical Music is to listen to it. But as there is so much Classical Music Appreciation,that varies from great, to good, to average, to mediocre how can the general public focus on the great and good so as to not waste their time and monies.This paper will guide you in your pursuit by directing you to the great and good pieces of Classical Music. This leads to the question as to what are the great or good Classical compositions and Classical composers.? I believe that Classical Music is a means of communication between the composers, performer,and listener. What they communicate are emotions. So, therefore, the greatest composers and compositions are those that communicate emotions the best. That is my only criteria for greatness or goodness – the ability to communicate at a high level the emotions intended.

This leads us to another question - What is the difference between good and great music? I once saw an interview with Isaac Stern (a great Violinist of the 20th century) by Dick Cavett. He (Dick) asked Isaac Stern what the difference between playing a piece of music good and greatly.Isaac responded by saying it was easier to demonstrate than to explain. He then picked up his violin and told Dick that he was going to play well. He then began to play an excerpt from Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto. After he finished Dick commented that that was very beautiful. Isaac said yes it was, but that now he was going to play it great. He then proceeded to play the same excerpt greatly. Both Dick and I immediately sat on the edge of our seats to listen.After Isaac finished playing he said the difference between playing something good and great was the difference between asking someone to listen to you play and demanding that they listen to what you play. Therefore, the difference between great and good is the demand for attention to a piece of Classical Music. This is my criteria for judging greatness and goodness.

The next question is "Who are the greatest composers of all time, a.k.a. “The Immortals?". I believe that there is only one way to answer this question. This way is by listening to the music of the composers to determine how well and deeply they impact the listener. Given this, the answer to the question who the best composer of all time has only one answer - Ludwig Van Beethoven. Beethoven reaches into the center of a person's soul and demands that you listen to what he has to say. Mozart, Brahms, and Bach come close to this, but not always, and only when performed greatly.  Beethoven performed both well and greatly demands to be listened too. Beethoven always reaches for your soul, and always grasps your soul. I, therefore, believe that the only answer to the greatest composer of all time is Ludwig Van Beethoven. Having said all this, I would tier rank the top sixty-six greatest composers in the following alphabetical order (clicking on the composers name will take you to the list of recommended compositions of the composer):

Top Tier ComposersTop

First Tier

Second Tier

Third Tier

Fourth Tier

Fifth Tier

Sixth Tier























Strauss, Richard



















Strauss, Johan II










De Falla





Gilbert & Sullivan














Vaughan Williams




Classical Music SamplerTop

Given the above I have compiled a list of a representative sample of each composer, which demonstrates the depth and breadth of the composer's art. It is not a list of the greatest hit of the composer – just a means of giving you a taste of each composers’ music. If you listen to this list I believe that you will appreciate (if not fall in love with) Classical Music. Clicking on the composers’ name will direct you to the Wikipedia article on the composer, while click on the composition will direct you to a YouTube video. Clicking on the blue right arrow will take you to the list of recommended compositions of the composer. For your viewing pleasure I have tried to provide a live performance. A studio performance is usually of better quality and you should listen to a studio recording as well.


Albeniz, Isaac - Granada
Albinoni, Tomaso - Adagio
Bach, Johann Sebastian - Fugue in G Minor (The "Great") 
Barber, Samuel - Adagio for Strings, Op. 11
Bartok, Bela - Concerto pour orchestre - Finale
Beethoven, Ludwig Van - Egmont Overture
Berlioz, Hector - The Damnation of Faust- Rakoczy March
Bizet, Georges - Carmen Suite No. 1
Boccherini, Luigi - Overture in D Op. 43
Borodin, Alexander - In the Steppes of Central Asia
Brahms, Johannes - Academic Festival Overture
Britten, Benjamin - Variations on A Theme of Purcell Fugue
Bruckner, Anton - Symphony No. 4 - 3rd movement
Chabrier, Alexis-Emmanuel - España Rhapsody
Chopin, Frederic - Waltz in A-Flat, Op. 34, No. 1 “Valse brillante”
Copland, Aaron - An Outdoor Overture
Corelli, Arcangelo - Gigue
De Falla, Manuel - El Amor Brujo - Danza ritual del fuego
Debussy, Claude - The Girl with the Flaxen Hair
Delibes, Clement Philibert Leo - Coppelia, Ballet Suite
Delius, Frederick - On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring
Dvorak, Antonin - Scherzo Capriccioso
Elgar, Edward - Salut d'amor
Faure, Gabriel - Pavane
Franck, Cesar - Psyche et Eros - Part III
Gershwin, George - An American In Paris
Gilbert & Sullivan - Modern Major General
Gluck, Christoph Willibald von - Dance of the Blessed Spirits
Gounod, Charles - Ballet Music from Faust
Grieg, Edvard - Peer Gynt Suites No. 1 & 2
Handel, George Frideric - The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba
Haydn, Franz Joseph - Serenade
Ippolitov-Ivanov, Mikhail - Caucasian Sketches: Procession of the Sardar
Khachaturian, Aram - Masquerade Waltz
Liszt, Franz - La Campanella from Paganini Etude No 3
Mahler, Gustav - Symphony No. 5 (Adagietto)
Mendelssohn, Felix - A Midsummer Night's Dream - Overture
Monteverdi, Claudio - Domine Ad Adjuvandum
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus - Eine Kleine Nachtmusik I - Allegro
Mussorgsky, Modest - Pictures at an Exhibition- The Great Gate at Kiev
Offenbach, Jacques - Orpheus in Hades Overture
Paganini, Niccolò - Caprice no. 24 in A minor
Prokofiev, Sergei - Romeo et Juliette Selections
Puccini, Giacomo - La Boheme - Che gelida manina
Purcell, Henry - Trumpet Voluntary
Rachmaninoff, Sergei - Vocalise
Rameau, Jean Philippe - Les Boreades
Ravel, Maurice - Alborada del Gracioso
Respighi, Ottorino - The Pines of Rome (selection)
Rimsky-Korsakov, Nikolai - Russian Easter Overture
Rossini, Gioachino - Overture to La gazza ladra “The Thieving Magpie”
Saint-Saens, Camille - Danse Macabre
Satie, Erik - Gymnopedie No. 1, 2, & 3
Scarlatti, Domenico - Keyboard Sonata in D major, K.96
Schubert, Franz - Ständchen
Schumann, Robert - Traumerei 
Shostakovich, Dimitri - Waltz No. 2 from Jazz Suite No. 2
Sibelius, Jean - Karelia Overture
Smetana, Bedrich - The Moldau
Strauss, Johann II - Emperor Waltz
Strauss, Richard - Salome - Dance of the Seven Veils
Stravinsky, Igor - The Firebird Finale
Tchaikovsky, Pyotr Il'yich - Romeo and Juliet Overture
Telemann, Georg Philipp - Overture (Suite) in D Major, TWV 55 D15 - Gigue
Vaughan Williams, Ralph - English Folk Song Suite 
Verdi, Giuseppe - Aida - Gloria all' Egitto, Triumphal March
Vivaldi, Antonio - Sinfonia in G Major
Wagner, Richard - Prelude to Act 1 from Die Meistersinger
Walton, William - Crown Imperial - Coronation March
Weber, Carl Maria Von - Invitation to Dance Op. 65


To Listen and To HearTop

The next question is how to best get to know Classical Music. For this, you have to know the difference between listening to Classical Music and hearing Classical Music.


To listen to Classical Music, you must make a commitment of time. You must allocate the time to listening too and only listen to the music. No interruptions, and no performing any other tasks when you are listening. All your concentration must be on listening to the music.


Hearing Classical Music requires that you train your ear to distinguish all the instruments that are playing, and what each instrument is playing. During a full orchestral performance, you may have up to a dozen instruments playing differently. Your ear (and mind) must be able to distinguish each of these and combine them into hearing everything that is being performed. The only way to accomplish this is to learn what each instrument sounds like as presented in the Orchestra Instrument Families YouTube video. You can then go on to listen to Benjamin Britten’s The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra, Sergei Prokofiev’s Peter And The Wolf - a Children's Tale For Narrator & Orchestra, as well as Camille Saint-Saens’s Carnival of the Animals - to start with. Then when you are listening to a performance concentrate on hearing each instrument. You may have to listen to the performance several times to distinguish all the instruments and then listen to the performance one final time after you can distinguish all the instruments. Fear not, however, that this will be required of all the performances that you listen to. Once you learn to hear each instrument you can then apply this ability to all the performances (including new performances) that you are listening to.


It is also important that you start your exploration of Classical Music in the proper sequence. The greatest composers require the greatest knowledge of hearing. I would, therefore, suggest that you start learning Classical Music by listening to the lesser composers. This can be done by working up the list of great composers that I previous ranked, as well as other composers that I will suggest.


The next question many people have is what are the Classical Music pieces that are essential to your appreciating this genre. For this, I have prepared a list that all lovers of Classical Music should know. Given that Classical Music has spanned several centuries, several hundred composers, and tens of thousands of compositions, a few hundred pieces is but a fraction of what is available to you. I have chosen these pieces by what I enjoy listening to time and again, as well as what I have stored on my music player.


It should also be noted that several of these pieces can be performed in various manners. These include as a soloist piece (piano, violin, flute,horn, etc.), a combination of instruments, chamber, band, string orchestra, and a symphony orchestra. I would suggest that you sample all manners of performance (usually starting with the soloist and working your way to a symphony orchestra) to obtain a full appreciation of these pieces. I should also note that while listening to a recorded performance is very important and satisfying, attending a live performance will immensely enrich your experience of Classical Music. So, therefore, go to a concert whenever you can arrange to do so.

Finally, while learning Classical Music may involve a considerable amount of time and effort I can assure you it is well worth your time and effort. The lifelong enjoyment of listening to Classical Music will immensely enrich your life and provide you with a sense of fulfillment that few other experiences in life can provide.

Isaac Asimov, a famous science fiction writer, had often told the story of a science fiction fan convention he attended in the mid-1960s. This convention was held in New York City, and featured a guest speaker and panel of science fiction authors,with a crowd of several hundred science fiction fans. In the mid-1960s science fiction fans were looked upon as very strange and different people. Being science fiction fans, with the large number of them from the New York City, they were very opinionated, loud, and rowdy during the course of the convention.

The guest speaker, Robert Silverberg (another famous science fiction author), was preparing to give the keynote address. As he was standing at the lectern the audience was being their normal loud and rowdy self. After tapping on the microphone a few times, he realized he was not going to get the crowds attention without doing something drastic. He, therefore, bent over to the microphone, and in a very loud voice, said: "You know, 90% of science fiction is crap". The crowd immediately went silent and began to glare at the stage. The science fiction authors on the panel began to become worried about their safety and were looking over their shoulders for the nearest exit.Just as the silence of became almost unbearable Robert Silverberg leaned over to the microphone and said "but then again 90% of everything is crap. It's getting to that 10% that makes wading through the 90% worthwhile". The crowd laughed, settle down, and Robert Silverberg could give his keynote speech followed by the panel discussion, where everybody behaved in a civilized manner.

Upon hearing this story, from Isaac Asimov himself, I realized Robert Silverberg had spoken a truism, which I adopted as my 90/10 rule. I now expect in the normal course of life that 90% of everything will be crap, but that 10% will be worthwhile.Whenever I do something for myself or get involved in something with others, I apply the 90/10 rule. If whatever I did was 10% worthwhile I think my effort has been successful. Getting more than 10% is a bonus. So, if I listen to music, read a book, watch television, go to the movies, visited museum, listen to a speech or lecture, attend a festival, visit a park, or any activity I look for the 10% to enjoy it, and consider the effort worthwhile and not a waste of my time or effort if I found the 10%.

And so, I have utilized this approach in preparing my list of recommended Classical Music. The following are my recommendations for the (chiefly) 10% great and good composers and their (chiefly) 10% great and good compositions. I have also included pieces by other minor composers that are enjoyable or provide a historic perspective. As such, not all of these pieces may be as enjoyable to a novice until their Classical Music appreciation has increased. Therefore, if you are not enjoying a piece on this list simply stop listening a go to the next piece. However, you should give the piece a few minutes to determine your enjoyment level. After you have gained a fuller appreciation of Classical Music you should go back and re-listen to the piece you have skipped, as you may discover that it is much more enjoyable with your greater appreciation of Classical Music. This list is not comprehensive of the composers best compositions, but it does include major works of music by the composer. Clicking on the composers’ name will direct you to the Wikipedia article on the composer, while click on the composition will direct you to a YouTube video.

In choosing a YouTube video my criteria has been a high definition video and audio, a quality performance, and a live performance (for your viewing enjoyment). A live performance will also help you with your "hearing" and understanding of the orchestra, conducting, and its musical instruments. If there was no live performance that met these criteria then I selected a high quality studio recording. I am also aware that YouTube has a problem in that some users are posting videos that are copyrighted. When YouTube discovers these videos they remove them (as they should). Therefore, some of my links will lead to a message "This video is unavailable". When I discover this problem I will rectify this by linking to another YouTube video (which, hopefully, will not be copyrighted). This list is in constant development as I discover better videos, audios, and performances, as well as English subtitles for vocal performances. So check-back for updates.  It should also be noted that Classical Music requires high quality speakers or headphones to be properly appreciated. This is due to the dynamic range of sound, from the very low to the very high range, of Classical Music. I would, therefore, recommend obtaining better speakers or a good headphones when you are listing to Classical Music. If you have any comments, concerns, critiques, or suggestions I can be reached at I will review reasoned and intellectual correspondence, and it is possible that I can change my mind, or at least update the contents of this article. This is why this articles is dated. Whenever I make a change to this article it will be re-dated. So check back and see if this article has been updated.

If you start your listening of Classical Music to the following selections I believe that you will not be dissatisfied and become a Classical Music appreciator if not a lover of Classical Music. The blue back arrow indicates a Top Tier Composer, and clicking on the arrow will take you back to the list of Top Tire Composers.

Recommended Classical MusicTop

Adam, Adolphe (1803-1856)

Giselle Ballet Music

Addinsell, Richard (1904-1977)

Warsaw Concerto

Albeniz, Isaac (1860-1909) Top Tier

Iberia: Granada

Iberia: Malaguena

Sonata: Presto

Suite Española No. 1, for piano, Op. 47, B. 7: Tango

Albinoni, Tomaso (1671-1751) Top Tier

Adiago in G minor

Trumpet Concerto in B flat, Op. 7 No. 3

Alfven, Hugo (1872-1960)

Swedish Rhapsody, Op. 19

Arne, Thomas (1710-1778)

The British Grenadiers: Patrol March - Arr. Robinson

Rule Britannia - Arr. Sargent

Bach, Johann Sebastian (1685-1750) Top Tier

A Mighty Fortress is Our God

Air on a G String (from Suite in D Major)


Bist du bei mir (If you are with me)

Brandenburg Concerto No. 1 in F

Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 in F

Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 in F

Brandenburg Concerto No. 4 in G

Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 in D

Brandenburg Concerto No. 6 in B Flat

Cello Suite No.1 in G

Double Violin Concerto in D minor BWV 1043

Fugue in G Minor "Great" BWV 542

Fugue in G Minor "Little" BWV 578

Gavottes I & II

Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring

Little Suite from The Anna Magdalena Notebook

March in D Major

Minuet in G Minor

Musette in D Major

Partita No 3 Preludio

Piano Concerto in D Minor BWV 1052

Prelude No. 1 in C Major

Preludium in E Major


Sheep May Safely Graze

Sinfonia in D Major (from Cantata No. 29)

Sleepers Awake (String Quartet) (Organ) (Piano) (Guitar) (Violins)

The Well-Tempered Clavier: Fugue No. 2 in C Minor

The Well-Tempered Clavier: Fugue No. 7 in E-flat major

Toccata & Fugue in D Minor

Two Part Inventions

Two Part Invention in B-flat Major

Two Part Invention in D Minor

Two Part Invention in F Major

Three Part Inventions

Violin Concerto in A Minor BWV 1041

Violin Concerto in E Major, BWV 1042

Bagley, Edwin Eugene (1857-1922)

National Emblem March

Balakirev, Mily (1837-1910)


Barber, Samuel (1910-1981) Top Tier

Adagio for Strings

Agnus Dei

Bartok, Bela (1881-1945) Top Tier

Concerto for Orchestra Sz. 116

Beethoven, Ludwig Van (1770-1827) Top Tier

Coriolan Overture, Op. 62

Egmont Overture, Op. 84

Fidelio Overture, Op. 72

Fur Elise

Leonore Overture No. 1 in C Major, Op. 138

Leonore Overture No. 2 in C Major, Op. 72a

Leonore Overture No. 3 in C Major, Op. 72b

Minuet in G Major

Piano Concerto No. 5 in E flat, Op. 73 "Emperor"

Piano Sonata No. 14 in C Sharp Minor "Moonlight", Op. 27

Piano Sonata No. 23 in F Minor "Appassionata"

Piano Sonata No. 8 in C Minor "Pathtique" Op.13

Romance for Violin and Orchestra No.1 in D Major, Op.40

Romance for Violin and Orchestra No.2 in F Major, Op.50

Ruins of Athens: Turkish March

Symphony No. 3 in E Flat, Op. 55

Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Op. 67

Symphony No. 6 in F, Op. 68 "Pastoral"

Symphony No. 7 in A Major, Op. 92

Symphony No. 8 in F Major, Op. 93

Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op. 125 "Choral"

Violin Concerto in D Major, Op.61

Wellington's Victory

Berlioz, Hector (1803-1869) Top Tier

Roman Carnival Overture Op. 9

Roméo et Juliette

Royal Hunt and Storm from the Trojans

Symphonie Fantastique

The Damnation of Faust: Rakoczy March

Bizet, Georges (1838-1875) Top Tier

Carmen Suite No. 1

Carmen Suite No. 2


Carmen: Final Scene


Carmen: Flower Song

Carmen: Habanera

Carmen: Seguidilha

Carmen: Toreador Song

Jeux d'enfants

La Patrie Overture

L'Arlésienne Suite No.1

L'Arlésienne Suite No.2

Les Pécheurs de perles: Je crois entendre encore

Symphony in C

Bloch, Ernest (1880-1959)

Nigun, for violin and orchestra

Boccherini, Luigi (1743-1805) Top Tier

Minuet in A

Overture in D Op. 43

Borodin, Alexander (1833-1887) Top Tier

In the Steppes of Central Asia

Nocturne (Chamber) (Piano) (Violin) (Cello)

Polovetsian Dance No. 2

Prince Igor Overture

String Quartet No. 2 in D Major

Brahms, Johannes (1833-1897) Top Tier

Academic Festival Overture

Capriccio in B Minor, Op. 76, No. 2

Concerto for Violin, Cello & Orchestra in A Minor "Double" Op. 102

Hungarian Dance No. 5

Hungarian Dance No. 6

Piano Concerto No. 1

Piano Concerto No. 2

Piano Sonata in F Minor, Op. 34

Rhapsody No. 2 in G Minor

Symphony No. 1 in C Minor, Op.68

Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op.73

Symphony No. 3 in F Major, Op. 90

Symphony No. 4 in E Minor, Op. 98

Tragic Overture Op.81

Variations on a Theme by Haydn, Op. 56a

Violin Concerto in D Op.77

Waltz No. 15 in A-Flat Major

Brahms-Joachim (1833-1897)

Hungarian Dance No. 5 for Piano, 4 Hands, in G Minor

Britten, Benjamin (1913-1976) Top Tier

Four Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes Op. 33a

Suite of English Folk Tunes

The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra (Part I, Part II)

Variations on A Theme of Purcell

Bruch, Max (1838-1920)

Violin Concerto No. 1 in G Minor

Bruckner, Anton (1824-1896) Top Tier

Locus Iste

String Quintet in F Major

Symphony No. 4 in E Flat Major "Romantic"

Butterworth, George (1885-1916)

The Banks of Green Willow


Two English Idylls

Byrd, William (1543-1623)

Agnus Dei

Animae - Justorum & Lustorum

Campra, André (1660-1744)

Idoménée - Ouverture

Triumphal March

Canteloube, Joseph Malaret de (1879-1957)

Baïlèro from Chants d'Auvergne

Chabrier, Alexis-Emmanuel (1841-1894) Top Tier

Espana from Spanish Rhapsody

Joyeuse marche

Overture to Gwendoline

Suite Pastorale

Chaminade, Cécile (1857-1944)

Serenade espagnole

Charpentier, Marc (1643-1704)

Te Deum: Prelude

Chopin, Frederic (1810-1849) Top Tier

Ballade in G Minor, Op. 23

Barcarolle, Op. 60

Etude in E Major, Op. 10, No. 3


Etude in G-flat Major, Op.10 No.5

Fantaisie-Impromptu in C-Sharp Minor, Op. 66

Les Sylphides

Mazurka in B-Flat, Op. 7, No. 1

Mazurka in D, Op. 33, No. 2

Nocturne in C Sharp Minor:  (Piano) (Violin) (Cello)

Nocturne in E-Flat, Op. 9, No. 2

Piano Concerto No. 2 in F Minor, Op. 21

Polonaise in A, Op. 40, No.1 "Military"

Polonaise in A-Flat, Op. 53 "Heroic"


Prelude No. 7, Op. 28

Waltz in A-Flat, Op. 34, No. 1 "Valse Brillante"

Waltz in C-sharp Minor, Op. 64, No. 2

Waltz in D-Flat, Op. 64, No. 1 "Minute Waltz"

Clarke, Jeremiah (1674-1707)

Duke of Glocester's March

Trumpet Voluntary


   (a.k.a., Theme of CBS' 'Sunday Morning' Prince of Denmark's March)

Copland, Aaron (1900-1990) Top Tier

A Lincoln Portrait

An Outdoor Overture

Appalachian Spring

Billy the Kid

Danzon Cubano

El Salón México

Fanfare for the Common Man   or   Brass Ensemble

Music for Movies

Rodeo (Four Dance Episodes)

Symphony No. 3 (Part I, Part II)

Corelli, Arcangelo (1653-1713) Top Tier


Christmas Concerto


Couperin, Francois (1668-1733)

Les Baricades Mistérieuses

Les Concerts Royaux (excerpts)

de Falla, Manuel (1876-1946) Top Tier

El Amor Brujo

El Sombrero de tres Picos

Night in the Gardens of Spain

da Palestrina, Giovanni Pierluigi (1525-1594)


Stabat Mater

Debussy, Claude (1862-1918) Top Tier

Arabesque No. 1

Claire De Lune (Piano) (Violin) (Cellos) (Harp)

Girl with the Flaxen Hair

Golliwogg's Cakewalk

Images pour orchestre

La Mer


Prelude to an Afternoon of a Faun

Preludes, Book 1


Suite Bergamasque

Delibes, Clement Philibert Leo  (1836-1891) Top Tier


Lakmé: Opera Flower Duet


Delius, Frederick (1862-1934)Top Tier

In a Summer Garden

On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring

Desprez, Josquin (1450-1521)

Ave Maria

Donizetti, Gaetano (1797-1848)

L'elisir d'amore: Una furtiva lagrima

Dukas, Paul (1865-1935)

The Sorcerer's Apprentice

Dvorak, Antonin (1841-1904) Top Tier

Carnival Overture Op. 92

Concerto for Cello & Orchestra Op.104 in B Minor

Hurmoresque, Op. 101

In Nature's Realm Overture Op. 91

Scherzo Capriccioso Op. 66

Serenade for String Orchestra in E Major Op. 22

Slavonic Dances

Songs My Mother Taught Me

String Quartet No.12 in F Major, Op.96 "American"

Symphony No. 7 in D Minor, Op.70

Symphony No. 8 in G Major, Op. 88

Symphony No. 9 in E Minor, Op. 95 "From the New World"

Elgar, Edward (1857-1934) Top Tier

Cello Concerto in E Minor, Op. 85

Chanson de Matin

Concerto for Violin, Cello & Orchestra Op. 85 in E Minor

Coronation Ode - Land of hope and glory

Crown Imperial

Enigma Variations


Pomp and Circumstances March No. 1, for orchestra in D Major, Op. 391

Pomp and Circumstances March No. 4 in G

Serenade for Strings


Salut d'amor

Enesco, Georges (1881-1955)

Rumanian Rhapsody No. 1

Faure, Gabriel (1845-1924) Top Tier

Après un Rêve “After a Dream”



Pelleas Et Melisande


Sicilienne, Op.78

Franck, Cesar (1822-1890) Top Tier

Psyche et Eros

Symphony in D Minor

Gershwin, George (1898-1937) Top Tier

An American in Paris

Overture Cubaine

Piano Concerto in F

Porgy and Bess (A Symphonic Picture)

Rhapsody in Blue

Gilbert & Sullivan (1836-1911) & (1842-1900)Top Tier

H.M.S. Pinafore: Overture

H.M.S. Pinafore: I'm Called Little Buttercup


H.M.S. Pinafore: My Gallant Crew...I Am the Captain of the Pinafore


H.M.S. Pinafore: We Sail the Ocean Blue


H.M.S. Pinafore: When I Was a Lad


Pirates of Penzance: Overture


Pirates of Penzance: I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General


Pirates of Penzance: Oh, better far to live and die


The Mikado: Overture


The Mikado: A Wand'ring Minstrel I


The Mikado: Behold the Lord High Executioner

Giordano, Umberto (1867-1948)

Opera Amor ti vieta: Fedora

Glazunov, Alexander (1865-1936)


Meditation, Op 32

Gliére, Reinhold (1875-1956)

Russian Sailors' Dance (from 'The Red Poppy' Op.70)

Glinka, Mikhail (1804-1857)

Russlan and Ludmilla Overture

Gluck, Christoph Willibald (1714-1787) Top Tier

Dance of the Blessed Spirits

Gorecki, Henryk (1933-2010)

Totus Tuus

Gould, Morton (1913-1996)

American Salute

Gounod, Charles (1818-1893) Top Tier

Faust: Ballet Music

Faust: Soldiers' Chorus

Faust: Waltz (Orchestra) - (Piano)


Funeral March of a Marionette

Grainger, Percy (1882-1961)

Country Gardens

Mock Morris

Shepherd's Hey

Granados, Enrique (1867-1916)

Spanish Dance No. 5

Grieg, Edvard (1843-1907) Top Tier

Holberg Suite

Homage March

Lyric Pieces Op. 62

Lyric Suite Op.54

Peer Gynt Suite No. 1 and No. 2

Piano Concerto A Minor, Op. 16

Sigurd Jorsalfar, Op.56

Grofe, Ferde (1892-1972)

Grand Canyon Suite

Grumiaux, Arthur (1921-1986)

Sonata for Violin No. 1, BWV 1001. II Fuga (J.S.Bach)

Handel, George Frederic (1685- 1759) Top Tier

Arrival of the Queen of Sheba

Messiah: Hallelujah Chorus

Royal Fireworks


Water Music: Hornpipe

Water Music (Suite No. 1, Suite No. 2, Suite No. 3)

Xerxes: Largo

Hanssen, Johannes (1874-1967)

Valdres March

Haydn, Franz Joseph (1732-1809) Top Tier

Cello Concerto in D Major

Piano Concerto No. 11 in D Major

Piano Variations in F Minor

Serenade for Strings

String Quartet in B flat Major Op. 76 No. 4 "Sunrise"

String Quartet in C Major Op. 76 No. 3 "Emperor"

String Quartet in D Major Op. 76 No. 5 "Lark"

String Quartet in D Minor Op. 76 No. 2 "Quinten"

Symphony No. 100 in G, "Military"

Symphony No. 101 in D, "Clock"

Symphony No. 102 in B flat

Symphony No. 103 in E flat, "Drum Roll"

Symphony No. 104 in D, "London"

Trumpet Concerto in E flat

Herbert, Victor (1859-1924)

Babes in Toyland: March of the Toys

Hérold, Ferdinand (1791-1833)

Overture to Zampa

Hindemith, Paul (1895-1963)

Sinfonische Metamorphosen

Holst, Gustav (1874-1934)

The Planets

Hummel, Johann Nepomuk (1778-1837)

Trumpet Concerto in E

Humperdinck, Engelbert (1854-1921)

Prelude to Hänsel und Gretel

Ibert, Jacques (1890-1962)


Ippolitov-Ivanov, Mikhail (1859-1935)Top Tier

Caucasian Sketches Suite for Orchestra, Op. 10 (No. 1 & No. 2)

Caucasian Sketches: Procession of the Sardar

Turkish Fragments Op. 62 (Caravan, At Rest, Night, Festival)


Turkish March for orchestra, Op 55

Ives, Charles (1874-1954)

Three Places in New England

Janácek, Leos (1854-1928)



Taras Bulba

Kabalevsky, Dmitri (1904-1987)

The Comedians Galop

Ketelbey, Albert W. (1875-1959)

In a Persian Market

Khachaturian, Aram (1903-1978) Top Tier

Gayane Ballet Adagio

Gayane Ballet Suite

Masquerade Suite

Masquerade Waltz

Spartacus Adagio

Kodaly, Zoltán (1882-1967)

Dances of Galánta

Hary Janos Suite

Kreisler, Fritz (1875-1962)

Liebesfreud (Love's Joy)

Liebesleid (Love`s Sorrow) (Violin) (Cello)

Schön Rosmarin for Violin and Piano

Kreisler, Fritz (1875-1962)- Rachmaninoff, Sergei (1873-1943)

Liebesfreud (Love's Joy)


Liebesleid (Love`s Sorrow)

Lalo, Édouard (1823-1892)

Le roi d'Ys Overture


Symphonie Espagnole

Lehar, Franz (1870-1948)

Frasquita Serenade

Leoncavallo, Ruggero (1857-1919)

Mattinata: Song for voice & Piano (or orchestra)


Mattinata: Wien - Amapola - O sole mio

Pagliacci: Vesti la giubba

Liszt, Franz (1811-1886) Top Tier

Ave Maria after Schubert

Fantasia on the Waltz from Gounod's Faust

Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 in C Sharp Minor

La Campanella from Paganini Etude No. 3

Les Preludes

Liebstraum (Love Dream) No. 3 (Piano) (Violin) (Cello)

Mephisto Waltz

Piano Concerto No. 1 in E flat, S. 124

Standchen S 560 No. 7 (from Schubert- Schwanengesang)

Un sospiro

Litolff, Henry Charles (1818-1891)

Concerto symphonique No. 4, Op. 102: Scherzo

Lotti, Antonio (1667-1740)


Luther, Martin (1483-1586)

A Mighty Fortress Is Our God (Ein feste Burg) arr for organ

Mahler, Gustav (1860-1911) Top Tier

Das Lied von der Erde

Symphony No. 1 in D "Titan"

Symphony No. 5 in C Sharp Minor

Symphony No. 9 in D Major

Mascagni, Pietro (1863-1945)

Cavalleria rusticana: Intermezzo

Massenet, Jules (1842-1912)

Elegie O Douz Printemps D'Auterfoix

Meditation from Thais (Violin) (Cello)

Overture to Phedre

MacDowell, Edward (1860-1908)

To a Wild Rose

Mendelssohn, Felix (1809-1847) Top Tier

A Midsummer Night Dream


Hebrides Overture

Rondo Capriccioso

Scherzo in E Minor

Songs Without Words (selection)

Songs Without Words Op. 30, No. 1

Spinning Song

Spring Song

Sweet Remembrance

Symphony 4, Op.90 in A "Italian"

Violin Concerto in E, Op. 64

Wedding March

Monteverdi, Claudio (1567-1643)Top Tier

Christe, Adoramus Te

Domine Ad Adjuvandum

Orfeo Overture

Morricone, Ennio (1928-Present)

Cinema Paradiso

Gabriel's Oboe

The Mission Main Theme

Mouret, Jean-Joseph (1682-1738)

Rondeau: (String Orchestra) - (Brass)

Mozart, Leopold (1719-1787)

Trumpet Concerto in D

Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus (1756-1791) Top Tier

Adagio and Fugue in C Minor KV 546

Clarinet Concerto in A major, K.622

Così fan tutte, Opera, K. 588 Soave sia il vento

Don Giovanni, Opera, K. 527 Champagne Aria

Don Giovanni, Opera, K. 527 La ci darem la mano

Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, KV 525

Le nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro) K. 492: Dove sono

Le nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro) K. 492: Voi che sapete

Le Nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro) K. 492: Overture

Oboe Concerto in C Major KV 314

Piano Concerto No. 21 in C, KV 467

Piano Concerto No. 23, K488

Piano Sonata in D Major, K. 448

Piano Sonata No 11 A major K 331

Rondo Alla Turca (from Piano Sonata in A Major K. 331) Turkish March

Rondo En La Menor K. 511

Serenade in B Flat, K. 361

Sinfonia Concertante, K. 364

Symphony No. 39 in E-flat Major, K. 543

Symphony No. 40 in G Minor, K. 550

Symphony No. 41 in C Major, K. 551 "Jupiter"

Violin Concerto No 3

Mussorgsky, Modest (1839-1881) Top Tier

Night on Bald (a.k.a. Bare) Mountain

Pictures at an Exhibition (Ravel Orchestration & Piano version)

Offenbach, Jacques (1819-1880) Top Tier

Gaîté Parisienne Ballet

Gaîté Parisienne: Overture

Les Contes D'Hoffmann: Barcarolle

Orpheus in Hades: Overture

Overture to La Belle Helene

Orff, Carl (1895-1982)

Carmina Burana: O Fortuna

Pachelbel, Johann (1653-1706)

Canon in D

Gigue in D

Paganini, Niccolò (1782-1840) Top Tier

24 Caprices for Violin

Moto perpetuo

Violin Concerto No. 1 in D

Violin Concerto No. 2 in B Minor

Paradis, Maria Theresia von (1759-1824)


Parry, Charles Hubert (1848-1918)

An English Suite

Pierluigi Da Palestrina, Giovanni (1525-1594)


Ponchielli, Amilcare (1834-1886)

Dance of the Hours

Poulenc, Francis (1899-1963)

Salve Regina

Prokofiev, Sergei (1891-1953) Top Tier

Cinderella Suite No. 1

Lieutenant Kijé, Film Score and Suite for Orchestra, Op. 60

Peter and the Wolf, Children's Tale for Narrator & Orchestra, Op. 67

Piano Gavotte

Piano March

Romeo and Juliet Suite

Symphony No.1 in D Major Op. 25 Classical

The Love for Three Oranges, Suite for Orchestra, Op. 33

Violin Concerto No. 1

Puccini, Giacomo (1858-1924) Top Tier

Gianni Schicchi: O Mio Babbino: Caro

La Boheme: Che Gelida Manina

La Boheme: Farewell Duet & Quartet

La Boheme: Final Scene, Death of Mimi

La boheme: Mi chiamano Mimi

La Boheme: O Soave Fanciulla

La Boheme: O, Mimi, Tu Piu Non Torni

La Boheme: Quando M'en Vo

La Boheme: Si, Mi Chiamano Mimi

La boheme: Sono Andati

Madama Butterfly: Death of Butterfly

Madama Butterfly: Entrance Of Butterfly (Ancora un passo or via)

Madama Butterfly: Humming Chorus

Madama Butterfly: Love Duet

Madama Butterfly: Pinkerton's Farewell (Addio, fiorito asil)

Madama Butterfly: Un Bel Di Vedremo

Manon Lescaut: Donna non vidi mai

Tosca: E Lucevan Le Stelle

Tosca: Love Duet

Tosca: Recondita armonia

Tosca: Vissi D'Arte

Turandot: Nessun dorma

Turandot: Signore, ascolta!

Purcell, Henry (1659-1695) Top Tier


Abdelazer Suite: Hornpipe, Minuet, Air

Abdelazer Suite

Chacony in G Minor


King Arthur Overture

Rondeau from Abdelezar:  (Strings)  -  (Brass)

Rachmaninoff, Sergei (1873-1943) Top Tier

Isle of the Dead, Op. 29

Moment Musicaux

Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor, Op. 18

Piano Sonata No. 2 in B Flat Minor, Op.36

Piano Transcription of Rimsky-Korsakov's 'Flight of the Bumblebee'

Polka De W.R.

Prelude in C Sharp Minor, Op. 3 No. 2

Prelude in G Major, Op 32. No.5

Prelude in G Minor, Op. 23, No. 5

Prelude in G Sharp Minor, Op.32 No. 12

Rhapsody on A Theme by Paganini, Op. 43

    (Alternative Two Piano Version)

Symphonic Dances

Symphony No. 2 in E Minor, Op. 27

Turkish March

Vocalise, Op. 34, No. 14

Rameau, Jean Philippe (1683-1764)Top Tier

Les Boreades (Suite and Dances)

Les Sauvages


Musette et tambourin

Ravel, Maurice (1875-1967) Top Tier

Aborada del Gracioso


Daphnis et Chloe: Suite No. 2

Jeux D'Eau

La Valse (Alternative Two Piano Version)

Le Tombeau De Couperin

Pavane pour une Infante Défunte

Rhapsodie Espagnole

Respighi, Ottorino (1879-1936) Top Tier

Ancient Airs and Dances Suite No. 1

Ancient Airs and Dances Suite No. 2


Ancient Airs and Dances Suite No. 3

The Birds

The Fountains of Rome

The Pines of Rome

Ricketts, Lieutenant F. J.(1881-1945)

Colonel Bogey March

Rimsky-Korsakov, Nikolai (1844-1908) Top Tier

Capriccio Espagnol, Op. 34

Fantasy on Russian Themes

Le Coq D'Or Suite

Mlada- Procession of the Nobles

Russian Easter Overture


The Tale of Tsar Saltan: The Flight of the Bumblebee

Robert Planquette and Paul Ceza (1848-1903) & (unknown)

Sambre Et Meuse

Rodrigo, Joaquin (1901-1999)

Concierto de Aranjuez: Adagio

Fantasia for a Gentleman

Rodriguez, Gerardo Matos (1897-1948)

La Cumparsita

Rossini, Gioachino (1792-1868) Top Tier

Overture to Guillaume Tell (William Tell)

Overture to Il barbiere di Siviglia (the Barber of Seville)

Overture to Il signor Bruschino (the Accidental Son)


Overture to La cenerentola (Cinderella)

Overture to La gazza ladra (the Thieving Magpie)

Overture to La scala di seta (the Silken Ladder)

Overture to L'italiana in Algeri (the Italian Girl in Algiers)

Overture to Semiramide

Tancredi: Overture

Rubinstein, Anton (1829-1894)

Melody in F Op. 31

Saint-Saens, Camille (1835-1921) Top Tier

Algerian Suite: French Military March

Carnival of the Animals

Cello Concerto in A Minor

Danse Macabre Op. 40

Samson and Delilah: Bacchanale

Symphony No. 3 "Organ"

Sarasate, Pablo de (1844-1908)

Concert Fantasy on themes from Bizet's 'Carmen' for


              (Violin & Orchestra) or (Violin & Piano), Op 25

Zigeunerweisen Op 20

Satie, Erik (1866-1925) Top Tier

Gymnopédies (1, 2, & 3), for Piano

Je te veux (I Want You): Je Te Veux


Le Picadilly (La transatlantique): Le Picadilly


Sonatine bureaucratique, for piano

Scarlatti, Domenico (1685-1757) Top Tier

Sonata in D Major

Sonata in E Major

Sonata in G Major

Schubert, Franz (1797-1828) Top Tier

Ave Maria (Piano & Voice, Cello, Violin).

Impromptu in B Flat

Impromptu in G Flat

Military March in D Flat Major, D733 No.1

Moment Musical in F Minor

Rosamunde Overture

Serenade for Strings

Ständchen - Serenade for Piano or Cello or Violin

String Quartet No. 14 in D Minor "Death and the Maiden"

Symphony No.8 D. 759 "Unfinished"

Symphony No.9 in C Major D. 944 "the Great"

Trio in E flat, D. 929

Trio, Op. 90 Dumky


Trout Quintet

Schumann, Robert (1818-1856) Top Tier

Arabeske, Op.18

Cello Concerto in A Minor

Manfred, Op. 115

Piano Concerto in A Minor, Op.54

Romance in A Major

String quartet Nr. 3 a-minor Op. 41

Symphony No. 3 "Rhenish"

The Happy Farmer

Three Romances

Traumerai (String Quartet & Cello and Piano versions)

Sheppard, John (1515-1558)

Libera Nos I

The Lord's Prayer

Shostakovich, Dimitri (1906-1975) Top Tier

Ballet Suite 1

Ballet Suite 2

Ballet Suite 3

Ballet Suite 4

Jazz Suite No. 1

Jazz Suite No. 2



Symphony No. 5 in D minor, Op. 47


The Bolt: Suite from the Ballet, Op.27a


The Golden Age Suite, Op. 22a

Sibelius, Jean (1865-1957) Top Tier

En Saga, Op. 9

Finlandia, Op.26

Karelia Overture Op. 10

Karelia Suite, Op. 11


Swan of Tuonela, Op. 22 No. 3

Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op. 43

Symphony No. 5, Op. 82

Tapiola, Op. 112

Valse Triste, Op. 44 No. 1

Violin Concerto in D Minor, Op. 47

Smetana, Bedrich (1824-1884) Top Tier

Bartered Bride Overture

Bartered Bride (Act I, Scene 5): Polka

Bartered Bride (Act II, Scene 1): Furiant

Bartered Bride (Act III, Scene 2): Dance of the Comedians

String Quartet No.1 in E Minor, "from My Life"

The Moldau

Sousa, John Philip (1854-1932)

Semper Fidelis

The Stars and Stripes Forever

Strauss, Johann I (1804-1849)

Radetzsky March

Strauss, Johann Jr. (1825-1899) Top Tier

Die Fledermaus Overture

Emperor Waltz

On the Beautiful Blue Danube Waltz

Roses from the South Waltz

Vienna Blood Waltz

Wine, Women and Song Waltz

Strauss, Johann II & Strauss, Josef (1825-1899) & (1827-1870)

Pizzicato Polka for orchestra, Op 234

Strauss, Richard (1864-1949) Top Tier

Also Sprach Zarathustra

Dance of the Seven Veils from Salome

Der Rosenkavalier

Ein Heldenleben

Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks

Stravinsky, Igor (1882-1971) Top Tier

Fireworks (Fantasy for Orchestra, Op. 4)


The Firebird

The Rite of Spring

Suppé, Franz von (1819-1895)

Leichte Kavallerie (Light Cavalry) Operetta: Overture

Poet and Peasant Overture

Tallis, Thomas (1505-1585)

If Ye Love Me

Salvator Mundi

Tarrega, Francesco (1852-1909)

Recuerdos de la Alhambra Andante

Tavener, John (1944-2013)

The Lamb

Tchaikovsky, Peter Ilyitch (1840-1893) Top Tier

1812 Overture

Andante Cantabile

Capriccio Italien, Op. 45

Eugene Onegin: Polonaise

Eugene Onegin: Waltz

Francesca Da Rimini, Op. 32

Marche Slave, Op. 31

None but the lonely heart, song for Voice & Piano, Op. 66

Piano Concerto 1, Op. 23 B flat Minor

Romeo and Juliet Overture

Serenade for String Orchestra, Op. 48

String Quartet No. 1 in D Major, Op. 11

Suite No. 1, Op. 43- Marche Miniature

Swan Lake Ballet Suite

Symphony No. 4 in F Minor, Op. 36

Symphony No. 5 in E Minor, Op. 64

Symphony No. 6 in B Minor, Op. 74

The Nutcracker Ballet Suite

The Sleeping Beauty Ballet Suite

Violin Concerto in D, Op. 35

Telemann, Georg Philipp (1681-1767)Top Tier

Concerto for Traverso and Recorder in E minor

Suite in D Major

Suite for flute and strings

Thomas, Ambroise (1811-1896)

Raymond Overture

Tomkins, Thomas (1572-1656)

When David Heard

Toye, Geoffrey (1889-1942)

Waltz the Haunted Ballroom Allegro


All Through the Night

Amazing Grace


Londonderry Air


Simple Gifts



Vaughan Williams, Ralph (1872-1958) Top Tier

English Folk Song Suite

Fantasia on A Theme of Thomas Tallis

Fantasia on Greensleeves

The Lark Ascending

Verdi, Giuseppe (1830-1901) Top Tier

Aida: Celeste Aida

Aida: Gloria all' Egitto, Triumphal March

Aida: Su! del Nilo al sacro lido

Falstaff: Tutti Gabbati

Falstaff: Tutto nel mondo e burla

II Masnadieri: Prelude

Il Trovatore: Vedi! le fosche notturne spoglie

Il Trovatore: Di quella pira

La Traviata: Ah fors' e lui and Sempre Libera

La Traviata: Brindisi from Act 1

La Traviata: Di Provenza il mar, il suol

La Traviata: Prelude to Act 1

La Traviata: Sempre libera degg'io

La Traviata: Un di felice

Nabucco: Va, pensiero

Otell:-Ave Maria

Rigoletto: Caro nome

Rigoletto: La Donde e Mobile

Rigoletto: Questra o quella

Rigoletto: Un di, se ben rammentomi

String Quartet in E Minor

Vivaldi, Antonio (1678-1741) Top Tier

Gloria in D, RV 589

Largo from Converto No. 4 for Flute


Sinfonia in G Major

String Quintet in C

Violin Concerto (The Four Seasons - Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter)

Wagner, Richard (1813-1883) Top Tier

Das Rheingold: Entry of the Gods into Valhalla

Die Meistersinger von Nurnber: Prelude to Act 1

Die Walkure: Ride of the Valkyries

Die Walkure: Wotan's Farewell And Magic Fire Music

Gotterdammerung: Dawn And Siegfried's Rhine Journey

Götterdämmerung: Siegfried's Death and Funeral March


Götterdämmerung: Finale

Lohengrin: Bridal Chorus (Wedding March)

Lohengrin: Prelude to Act I

Lohengrin: Prelude to Act II and Bridal Chorus

Lohengrin: Prelude to Act III

Parsifal: Prelude

Rienzi: Overture

Siegfried: Forest Murmurs

Siegfried Idyll

Tannhauser: Fest March

Tannhauser: Overture

Tristan Und Isolde: Prelude and Liebestod

Waldteufel, Émile (1837-1915)

The Skater's Waltz

Walton, William (1902-1983) Top Tier

Crown Imperial: Coronation March

Henry V

Orb and Sceptre: Coronation March

Richard III - Prelude

'Spitfire' Prelude and Fugue

Warlock, Peter (1894-1930)

Capriol Suite

Weber, Carl Maria Von (1786-1826) Top Tier

Der Freischutz Overture, Op. 77

Invitation to the Dance Op. 65

Widor, Charles-Marie (1844-1937)


Wieniawski, Henryk (1835-1880)

Polanaise de concert No.1 Op. 4

Williams, John (1932 - Present)

Schindler's list (Violin & 2Cellos)

The Star Wars Suite

Popular OperasTop

Below is a list of 50 popular Operas with the year they were composed. To listen to an Opera usually require two to three hours, and you may not be satisfied (if not bored) during stretches of the performance. Besides, Opera is better seen and heard,rather than just listened too. I have included selections from Opera in my Classical Music recommendations so that you can get a flavor of Opera music,and if you like them you may want to attend or obtain a DVD of an Opera performance.  Clicking on the composers' name will take you to the Wikipedia article about the opera. Clicking on the ballet name will take you to a YouTube video of the opera.

Beethoven: Fidelio (1805)

Bellini: Norma (1831)

Berg: Wozzeck (1925)

Bizet: Carmen (1875)  (Act I, Act II, Act III, Act IV)

Debussy: Pelleas et Melisande (1902)

Donizetti: Don Pasquale (1843)

Donizetti: Lucia di Lammermoor (1835)

Donizetti: L’Elisir d’Amore (1832)

Donizetti: La Fille du Regiment (1840)

Gluck: Orfeo ed Euridice (1762)

Gounod: Faust (1859)

Leoncavallo: Pagliacci (1892)

Mascagni: Cavalleria Rusticana (1890)

Massenet: Manon (1884)

Massenet: Werther (1892)

Mozart: Cosi Fan Tutte (1790)

Mozart: Don Giovanni (1787)

Mozart: La Nozze di Figaro (1786)

Mozart: Die Zauberflote (1791)

Mussorgsky: Boris Godunov (1873)

Offenbach: Les Contes d’Hoffmann (1881)

Ponchielli: La Gioconda (1876)

Puccini: La Boheme (1896)

Puccini: Madama Butterfly (1904)

Puccini: Tosca (1900)

Puccini: Gianni Schicchi (1918)

Puccini: Manon Lescaut (1893)

Puccini: Turandot (1926)

Rossini: Il Barbiere di Siviglia (1816)

Strauss, R.: Elektra (1909)

Strauss, R.: Der Rosenkavalier (1911)

Strauss, R.: Salome (1905)

Verdi: Aida (1872)

Verdi: Un Ballo in Maschera (1859)

Verdi: Falstaff (1893)

Verdi: La Forza del Destino (1862)

Verdi: Otello (1887)

Verdi: Rigoletto (1851)

Verdi: La Traviata (1853)

Verdi: Il Trovatore (1853)

Verdi: Don Carlos (1871)

Verdi: Simon Boccanegra (1857)

Wagner: Lohengrin (1850)

Wagner: Der Meistersinger von Nurnberg (1868)

Wagner: Das Rheingold (1869)

Wagner: Die Walkure (1870)

Wagner: Siegfried (1876)

Wagner: Gotterdamerung (1876)

Wagner: Tannhauser (1875)

Wagner: Tristan und Isolde (1865)

Popular BalletsTop

Ballet, like Opera, is better seen and heard, rather than just heard. A Ballet performancecan vary greatly in duration, so you may listen to a Ballet in its entirety in a shorter time than Opera. I personally enjoy listening to an entire Ballet asit makes more musical sense to hear the entire Ballet. I hope that you will enjoy Ballet as much as I do. Below is a list of 20 popular Ballets with theyear they were first performed. Clicking on the composers' name will take you to the Wikipedia article about the ballet. Clicking on the ballet name will take you to a YouTube video of the ballet.

Adam, Adolphe: Giselle (1841)

Bizet, Georges: Carmen (1949)

Bournonville, August: La Sylphide (1836)

Delibes, Clement-Philibert-Leo: Coppélia (1870)

Delibes, Clement-Philibert-Leo: Sylvia (1876)

Massenet, Jules: Manon (1974)

Mendelssohn, Felix: A Midsummer Night Dream (1964)

Minkus, Ludwig: Don Quixote (1869)

Minkus, Ludwig: La Bayader (The Temple Dancer) (1877)

Prokofiev, Sergei: Cinderella (1945)

Prokofiev, Sergei: Romeo and Juliet (1938)

Pugni, Cesare: La Esmeralda (1844)

Rimsky-Korsakov, Nikolai: Scheherazade (1910)

Stravinsky, Igor: Petrushka (1911)

Stravinsky, Igor: The Firebird (1910)

Stravinsky, Igor: The Rite of Spring (1913)

Tchaikovsky, Peter Ilyitch: Swan Lake (1895)

Tchaikovsky, Peter Ilyitch: The Nutcracker (1892)

Tchaikovsky, Peter Ilyitch: The Sleeping Beauty (1890)

Wheeldon, Christopher: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1964)


Final ThoughtsTop

Appreciation and listenership of Classical Music have decreased significantly in the last fifty years. The number of Classical Music radio stations has significantly decreased, attendance at Classical Music concerts are down, and sales of Classical Music recordings have substantially decreased. Even streaming music Classical Music stations do not have a significant share of the audience. In my opinion, this is due to a lack of Classical Music appreciation that is the result of several factors. While there are many factors that contribute to this decline I wish to focus on three factors that may help alleviate this problem.

On the Difference Between Music Education and Music AppreciationTop

Most people are exposed to Classical Music when they are required to take “Music” courses during their K-12 education. This “Music” instruction is naturally given by teachers who have been musically educated and trained and already have a great love of music. They draw upon their own experience and training to prepare and deliver music courses. However, it is important for a teacher to adapt their instruction to the students in the classroom. They need to remember that most students are not that interested in learning music and therefore pay little heed to the teachers’ instruction. As any good teacher will admit the first step in good teaching is to get the student interested and motivated in the subject matter. This is true for “Music” as well as any other subject matter. Therefore, a music teacher needs to start with “Music Appreciation” rather than “Music Education”. The difference being that “Music Education” is about the means and techniques of creating and performing music, while “Music Appreciation” is the understandingof the nature, meaning, quality and effect of music on their lives.

That is why I believe it is more important to have “Music Appreciation” classes in K-12 education, with “Music Education” courses reserved for those students who are motivated to pursue music. For those that respond that we should do both simultaneously, or we are doing both simultaneously, I would respond that this is not working. My own experience is an anecdotal proof of this. I had the traditional music education in K-12 with my being totally disinterested in music. Only by attending a re-release of the movie “2001: A Space Odyssey” and being dazzled by the Classical Music utilized in the movie did I begin to seek out and appreciate Classical Music. I had to learn Classical Music the hard way, by trial and error, but I found my way to Classical Music and other music appreciation. In my dealings with other people about music I have discovered that this is generally true. Very few of them had a positive remembrance of their “Music” courses in the K-12 environment. Most of them had a neutral, and some of them had a negative, remembrance of their “Music” courses. This needs to change to foster more “Music Appreciation” with the general public.

We need “Music Appreciation” in K-12 education so that more interest in all forms of music is generated. And it needs to be taught in a non-traditional manner to achieve this goal. I would start with current popular music appreciation and proceed backward in reverse chronological order. All genre of music should be covered to demonstrate their interrelationships and dependencies. The material should be focused on the composers and their historic times, the meaning of the composition, and if time allows information about the performer(s). Of course, you need to play the composition without interruption, followed by a class discussion on the composition. Only then can we create a generation of music appreciators.

A Note to Classical Music DJ's:Top

I would like to recount a story from my life, that a first blush seems inappropriate, but as you will learn is very appropriate. It is a fishing story. My mothers family was born a raised in northern Minnesota, but most of them moved to other parts of the mid-west, and unfortunately, many of them have now passed away. Starting in the early 1960’s and about every 10 years or so thereafter, they would have a family reunion at their homestead in northern Minnesota. I have attended a few of these reunions and the one in the early 1970’s is the basis of my fishing story. I knew my mothers’ family were avid fishermen (as most Minnesotans are) and that we would be going on a fishing trip during this reunion. Not being a fisherman, I obtained a library book on freshwater fishing, so I would not, hopefully, make a fool of myself. The day of the fishing trip began in the early morning from a pontoon raft that someone had lent the family. We motored to a bank of the lake to start our fishing. Everyone started casting except for myself. I had decided to observe the lake and shore before I began fishing (as it was a new experience for me). When my Uncle Louie ask if I was afraid to fish I responded, facetiously, that I was just trying to figure out that if I were a fish where I would be swimming. He laughed at me. I then, therefore, pointed to a spot in the lake and said that was where I thought a fish would be. I then miraculously cast to the exact point that I had pointed out. Much to Uncle Louie’s amazement as soon as the lure hit the water I hooked a fish, which I then reeled into the pontoon raft. Uncle Louie looked at me in amazement and said: “You lucky S.O.B.” at whichpoint I laughed at him. The point is that, through my readings, I knew my equipment, I had practiced casting with my equipment the previous day, I knew the lure I needed to catch the Northern Pike fish we were aiming for, I knew something of Northern Pike fish behavior through my readings, and I knew how to reel in the fish. I was the first one to catch a fish that day, and I caught more fish that day than any other member of my family (I also helped that I was a lucky S.O.B that day).

And so, it is, with Classical Music appreciation. Know Classical Music, know which Classical Music would be appreciated by the general public, know how to appeal to the general public tastes, lure them with popular Classical Music, then hook them by playing popular Classical Music, and then reel them into Classical Music appreciation. Once they are caught then you can then educate them on Classical Music. I know you can do this as during your fundraising appeals the majority of the Classical Music played during fundraising is what the general public appreciates. But I am afraid that most Classical Music DJ's suffer from a common affliction - a need to dazzle their audience with the breadth and depth of their repertoire, and their extensive knowledge of esoteric classical music. I am speaking specifically about your selection of what classical music to program. You seem to be using an eclectic method in deciding on which music to play, rather than what your audience needs and expects. You seem to be “Preaching to the Choir’ while the congregation is fleeing. Most of the general public when listening to Classical Music are doing so for relaxation purposes, not for educational purposes. They want Classical Music to make the day go faster and more pleasant. They do not need to hear much unfamiliar and unappealing Classical Music. I also suspect that sometime in the future you will be interested in having them purchase Classical Music or attend a concert of Classical Music. These purchases and attendance will probably not happen given your current programming, as the general public will not expend the time or monies to attend a concert or purchase a recording in which they are unsure of their gratification. Concentrate at least two-thirds of your Classical Music programming on popular Classical Music and you may achieve the goal of increasing Classical Music appreciation and listenership. I believe that this suggestion would be welcomed by most of the listeners of your station.

I also believe if you take my approach you could assist with the revival of Classical Music appreciation, but if you continue your present course you are assisting in the funeral of Classical Music.

A Note to Streaming Music Services:Top

With the advent of on-demand internet music stations comes another challenge to Classical Music appreciation. Most, if not all, on-demand internet music stations treat each movement of a multi-movement Classical Music composition as separate entities and do not play them contiguously. This reduces Classical Music appreciation as a Classical Music piece should be played in its entirety from beginning to end to be fully appreciated. They need to “join” a multi-movement Classical Music composition into one entity that is played in its entirety so that it is appreciated properly. Failure to do this fractures a Classical Music composition and is a disservice to the listening public.

A Tribute to Carlo Maria GiuliniTop

Carlo Maria Giulini was an esteemed Italian conductor, an idealistic maestro acclaimed for his refined and insightful accounts of the standard orchestral repertory and for several now classic recordings and is my all-time favorite conductor. I literally have hundreds of his recordings and have enjoyed every performance. It was Maestro Giulini recordings of Beethoven and Brahms that led me to discover the true meaning and beauty of Beethoven and Brahms. Many conductors are passionate in their conducting, many are perfectionists. Maestro Giulini combined both passion and perfectionism in his conducting. It is one of my greatest disappointments in life that I never was able to attend a live performance of Maestro Giulini. Maestro Giulini was an Italian conductor
born May 9, 1914 and died June 14, 2005. I shall miss him, but his greatness and music lives on through his recordings. More information on Maestro Giulini can be found at Wikipedia, ClassicFM, and his obituary at The New York Times.

Further ReadingsTop

Below are the books I would recommend that you read for more background information on Classical Music:

  • Classical Music - The 50 Greatest Composers and Their 1,00 Greatest Works by Phil G. Goulding
  • The Classic FM Guide to Classical Music by Jeremy Nichols
  • The Lives of the Great Composers by Harold C. Schonberg

TED also has some interesting talks on Classical Music. They Are:


I have created some interesting lists in regards to Classical Music that can be viewed here.