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  • Writer's pictureLourdes de la Peña

Best Pieces in Each Musical Era

Every composer has experienced joy, love, sorrow, anxiety, confusion, and regret. Throughout the past 400 years, instruments and playing styles have changed, yet the basic universal human emotions have remained the same. In my opinion, here are most brilliant, exciting, hopeless, sad, and interesting pieces the world has ever heard.


Composer: Arcangelo Corelli (1653-1713)

Title: Concerto in D Major Op. 6 No. 4

Instrumentation: Four baroque violins, one baroque cello, one baroque viola, one violone, one baroque organ, one archlute

Musicians: Voices of Music

Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)

Title: Cello Suite No. IV in D Major, BWV 1012

Instrumentation: Violoncello da spalla solo

Musician: Sergey Malov

Composer: Marco Uccellini (1603-80)

Arranger: Jeannette Sorrell

Title: La Bergamasca

Instrumentation: Eight baroque violins, two traversos, three baroque violas, one baroque contrabass, one baroque guitar

Musicians: Apollo's Fire


Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)

Title: String Quartet No. 8 in F, K. 168, Mvt. IV. Allegro (Fugue)

Instrumentation: Two violins, one viola, one cello

Musicians: Hagen Quartett

Composer: Joseph Haydn

Title: String Quartet Op. 76, No. 3. Mvt. II "Emperor"

Instrumentation: Two violins, one viola, one cello

Musicians: Emerson String Quartet

Composer: Luigi Boccherini

Title: Cello Concerto no. 7 in G Major, G. 480, Mvt. I. Allegro

Instrumentation: Cello and chamber orchestra

Musicians: Mischa Maisky with Orpheus Chamber Orchestra


Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)

Title: Symphony No. 5

Instrumentation: Orchestra

Musicians: Vienna Philharmonic conducted by Thielemann

Composer: Antonin Dvorak (1841-1904)

Arranger: Fritz Kreisler

Title: Songs My Mother Taught Me

Instrumentation: Cello, violin, and piano

Musicians: Yo Yo Ma, Itzhak Pearlman with Radio Filarmonia

Composer: Frederic Chopin

Title: Nocturne in C Sharp Minor No. 20

Instrumentation: Piano solo

Musician: Vladimir Ashkenazy


Composer: Olivier Messiaen (1908-92)

Title: Quartet for the End of Time

Instrumentation: Clarinet, violin, cello, piano

Musicians: Antje Weithaas, Sol Gabetta, Sabine Meyer, Bertrand, Chamayou

Composer: Zoltán Kodály (1882-1967)

Title: Sonata for Solo Cello

Instrumentation: Cello solo

Musician: Janos Starker

Composer: Elliott Carter

Title: Four Lauds, No. 3 "Rhapsodic Musings"

Instrumentation: Violin solo

Musician: Jennifer Koh

As you can tell, there are many different styles of classical music. Each has its own unique sound. Listen across the eras, find what you like, and enjoy the sounds you hear!

With joy,

Lourdes de la Peña and the StringTime Family

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