The Personal Website of Mark W. Dawson

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

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.

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 within the following selections I believe that you will not be dissatisfied and become a Classical Music appreciator if not a lover of Classical Music. Please remember that you should not view these videos in alphabetical order, as that is not the best method to learn to appreciate Classical Music. Rather, use the Top Tier Composers list in a bottom up manner to view these videos. Clicking on the composers’ name will direct you to the Wikipedia article on the composer, while a click on the composition will direct you to a YouTube video performance of the composition.
For more on Classic Music please refer to my articles
Classical Music Appreciation, Classical Music Chirps, and Classical Music Lists.
Adam, Adolphe (1803-1856)
Addinsell, Richard (1904-1977)
Albeniz, Isaac (1860-1909)
Albinoni, Tomaso (1671-1751)
Alfven, Hugo (1872-1960)
Arne, Thomas (1710-1778)
Bach, Johann Sebastian (1685-1750)
Bagley, Edwin Eugene (1857-1922)
Balakirev, Mily (1837-1910)
Barber, Samuel (1910-1981)
Bartok, Bela (1881-1945)
Beethoven, Ludwig Van (1770-1827)
Berlioz, Hector (1803-1869)
Bizet, Georges (1838-1875)
Bloch, Ernest (1880-1959)
Boccherini, Luigi (1743-1805)
Borodin, Alexander (1833-1887)
Brahms, Johannes (1833-1897)
Brahms-Joachim (1833-1897)
Britten, Benjamin (1913-1976)
Bruch, Max (1838-1920)
Bruckner, Anton (1824-1896)
Butterworth, George (1885-1916)
Byrd, William (1543-1623)
Chabrier, Alexis-Emmanuel (1841-1894)
Chaminade, Cécile (1857-1944)
Charpentier, Marc (1643-1704)
Chopin, Frederic (1810-1849)
Clarke, Jeremiah (1674-1707)
Copland, Aaron (1900-1990)
Corelli, Arcangelo (1653-1713)
Couperin, Francois (1668-1733)
de Falla, Manuel (1876-1946)
da Palestrina, Giovanni Pierluigi (1525-1594)
Debussy, Claude (1862-1918)
Delibes, Clement Philibert Leo (1836-1891)
Delius, Frederick (1862-1934)
Desprez, Josquin (1450-1521)
Donizetti, Gaetano (1797-1848)
Dukas, Paul (1865-1935)
Dvorak, Antonin (1841-1904)
Elgar, Edward (1857-1934)
Enesco, Georges (1881-1955)
Faure, Gabriel (1845-1924)
Franck, Cesar (1822-1890)
Gershwin, George (1898-1937)
Gilbert & Sullivan (1836-1911) & (1842-1900)
Giordano, Umberto (1867-1948)
Glazunov, Alexander (1865-1936)
Gliére, Reinhold (1875-1956)
Glinka, Mikhail (1804-1857)
Gluck, Christoph Willibald (1714-1787)
Gorecki, Henryk (1933-2010)
Gould, Morton (1913-1996)
Gounod, Charles (1818-1893)
Grainger, Percy (1882-1961)
Granados, Enrique (1867-1916)
Grieg, Edvard (1843-1907)
Grofe, Ferde (1892-1972)
Grumiaux, Arthur (1921-1986)
Handel, George Frederic (1685- 1759)
Hanssen, Johannes (1874-1967)
Haydn, Franz Joseph (1732-1809)
Herbert, Victor (1859-1924)
Hérold, Ferdinand (1791-1833)
Hindemith, Paul (1895-1963)
Holst, Gustav (1874-1934)
Hummel, Johann Nepomuk (1778-1837)
Humperdinck, Engelbert (1854-1921)
Ibert, Jacques (1890-1962)
Ippolitov-Ivanov, Mikhail (1859-1935)
Ives, Charles (1874-1954)
Janácek, Leos (1854-1928)
Kabalevsky, Dmitri (1904-1987)
Ketelbey, Albert W. (1875-1959)
Khachaturian, Aram (1903-1978)
Kodaly, Zoltán (1882-1967)
Kreisler, Fritz (1875-1962)
Kreisler, Fritz (1875-1962)- Rachmaninoff, Sergei (1873-1943)
Lalo, Édouard (1823-1892)
Lehar, Franz (1870-1948)
Leoncavallo, Ruggero (1857-1919)
Liszt, Franz (1811-1886)
Litolff, Henry Charles (1818-1891)
Lotti, Antonio (1667-1740)
Luther, Martin (1483-1586)
Mahler, Gustav (1860-1911)
Mascagni, Pietro (1863-1945)
Massenet, Jules (1842-1912)
MacDowell, Edward (1860-1908)
Mendelssohn, Felix (1809-1847)
Monteverdi, Claudio (1567-1643)
Morricone, Ennio (1928-Present)
Mouret, Jean-Joseph (1682-1738)
Mozart, Leopold (1719-1787)
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus (1756-1791)
Mussorgsky, Modest (1839-1881)
Offenbach, Jacques (1819-1880)
Orff, Carl (1895-1982)
Pachelbel, Johann (1653-1706)
Paganini, Niccolò (1782-1840)
Paradis, Maria Theresia von (1759-1824)
Parry, Charles Hubert (1848-1918)
Pierluigi Da Palestrina, Giovanni (1525-1594)
Ponchielli, Amilcare (1834-1886)
Poulenc, Francis (1899-1963)
Prokofiev, Sergei (1891-1953)
Puccini, Giacomo (1858-1924)
Purcell, Henry (1659-1695)
Rachmaninoff, Sergei (1873-1943)
Rameau, Jean Philippe (1683-1764)
Ravel, Maurice (1875-1967)
Respighi, Ottorino (1879-1936)
Ricketts, Lieutenant F. J.(1881-1945)
Rimsky-Korsakov, Nikolai (1844-1908)
Robert Planquette and Paul Ceza (1848-1903) & (unknown)
Rodrigo, Joaquin (1901-1999)
Rodriguez, Gerardo Matos (1897-1948)
Rossini, Gioachino (1792-1868)
Rubinstein, Anton (1829-1894)
Saint-Saens, Camille (1835-1921)
Sarasate, Pablo de (1844-1908)
Satie, Erik (1866-1925)
Scarlatti, Domenico (1685-1757)
Schubert, Franz (1797-1828)
Schumann, Robert (1818-1856)
Scriabin, Alexander (1871-1915)
Sheppard, John (1515-1558)
Shostakovich, Dimitri (1906-1975)
Sibelius, Jean (1865-1957)
Smetana, Bedrich (1824-1884)
Sousa, John Philip (1854-1932)
Strauss, Johann I (1804-1849)
Strauss, Johann Jr. (1825-1899)
Strauss, Richard (1864-1949)
Stravinsky, Igor (1882-1971)
Suppé, Franz von (1819-1895)
Tallis, Thomas (1505-1585)
Tarrega, Francesco (1852-1909)
Tavener, John (1944-2013)
Tchaikovsky, Peter Ilyitch (1840-1893)
Telemann, Georg Philipp (1681-1767)
Thomas, Ambroise (1811-1896)
Tomkins, Thomas (1572-1656)
Toye, Geoffrey (1889-1942)
Vaughan Williams, Ralph (1872-1958)
Verdi, Giuseppe (1830-1901)
Vivaldi, Antonio (1678-1741)
Wagner, Richard (1813-1883)
Waldteufel, Émile (1837-1915)
Walton, William (1902-1983)
Warlock, Peter (1894-1930)
Weber, Carl Maria Von (1786-1826)
Widor, Charles-Marie (1844-1937)
Wieniawski, Henryk (1835-1880)
Williams, John (1932 - Present)