Classical music is a music in its own class. The elaborate musical composition found in a full orchestra boost of characteristics that lack in other genres. Much can be said when describing the different classical compositions such as sonatas and cantatas, be it secular or liturgical. The symphony can be as complex as it can get.
A good number of classical music use staff notations provided by composers and, unlike Jazz, this leaves little room for improvisation. The arrangement of instruments is often complex, as can be seen in masterpieces produced by such legends as Johann Strauss II, Johann Sebastian Bach, Ludwig van Beethoven, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Giuseppe Verdi.
Below is a list of five classical pieces that showcases this uniqueness and complexities in both the arrangements and renditions.
Hint: Like all classical music, they are best enjoyed away from distractions, in a full Hi-Fi system or a good pair of headphones. And don’t forget to close your eyes and let the melody carry your imaginations!
5. O Fortuna – Rhydian
This song is found in the second album by Welsh classical singer Rhydian. It is based upon a medieval Latin poem written in the 13th century. It is a complaint about Fortuna, a goddess of fortune. It was set to music by German composer Carl Orff in around 1935.
The song opens with a strong sound of chords, drums, brass, vocals and a host of other instruments. The drum roles abruptly ends the intro and a steady, short melodic notes peaks up and set a brisk tempo, effectively creating mood for a dramatic situation .
The vocal melody, full of conviction, stays on a moderate tone for about 70 seconds before coming out powerful with rich and strong drum sounds, horns, strings, brass and cymbals. The last 12 seconds pushes the tempo further up as the vocal melody refrain and the piece terminates abrupt in one glorious performance.
4. La Donna è Mobile – Rolando Villazón
This canzone, literally meaning “the woman is flighty”, is incredibly catchy. No wonder it was rehearsed under tight secrecy before its first public performance in Venice. It was written to the opera Rigoletto by Giuseppe Verdi in 1851. This is a powerful piece for the tenors and the tuneful vocal melody of Rolando Villazon showcases it.
The dramatic chanting of lyrics gives the song some kind of playful and funny feelings. The recording quality is top notch and the instruments are well balanced. This is truly a world wide famous aria.
3. A Time To Say Goodbye – Katherine Jenkins
The song, originally performed by Andrea Bocelli, is another example of a classic masterpiece. And Katherine Jenkins does not disappoint either with her powerful vocals. The original version, “Con Te Partirò”,was composed by Francesco Sartori.
The intro, slowly and majestically swells to usher in a rich flow of strings and violins which characterizes the piece. A well blended bass drum with subtle crash sounds of cymbals slowly but surely sets the tempo throughout the song. The mezzo-soprano vocal melody impressively follows the strings in a distinctive and memorable tune.
A beautiful vocal range that hit the high notes perfectly. There is a clear flow of words and distinctive phrases can be well made out. The vocal melody is in harmony with the accompaniments, rich and warm, and together with the lyrics they justify the title of the song. The rhythm is catchy and captures imagination, a time indeed to say goodbye!
The song gives hope and evoke deep feelings of love. The song terminates at a high note (pun intended), with subtle sounds of conga drum and powerful chords.
2. Chariots of Fire – Vangelis
A great song with a great arrangement, usually associated with the Olympics. This is the work of a professional and a skillful composer.
The intro is catchy, sets the tempo and carries the accompaniments through out the song. Very beautiful development with rich sounds of tympani, synthesizers, cymbals and chimes. The piano sound is melodious, memorable and sets the mood.
The smooth and exciting string arrangement holds everything together in perfect harmony. This is a sweeping tune which elicits a mixture of both sadness and inspirational.
1. Flower Duet – Katherine Jenkins & Kiri Te Kanawa
This is a famous duet, first performed in Paris in 1883. It takes place in act 1 when characters Lakmé and her servant Mallika go out to gather flowers on a river bank.
The duet opens with airy, tuneful and a heartwarming rhythmic chords which immediately sets a memorable melody. The two talented ladies competently give an impressive rendition which sweeps imagination. This is a beautiful arrangement with superb dynamics. Once the song terminates, it lefts a lasting impression.