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Classical Music (1750 - 1820)

This relatively short period, or era, spawned some of the finest music ever written. Vienna was the epicentre of this musical era, and it inspired composers such as Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven and Schubert. Music from this period is sometimes even referred to as 'Viennese Classicism', such was the influence of this melting pot of culture and the Arts. 

Just consider a few, randomly picked, musical masterpieces that were created in the Classical era: Beethoven’s piano sonatas, symphonies and concertos; Mozart’s symphonies, chamber music and operas; Haydn’s symphonies — over a hundred of them! — and major choral works like 'Creation'; the songs and symphonies of Schubert and Schumann. The list goes on and on. 

The music of this period is characterised by its elegance and sophistication. Important forms of this period include the string quartet, opera, sonata, symphony, string quartet, and solo concertos for a variety of instruments. The harpsichord — which played a central role as the main keyboard instrument of the baroque period — was replaced by the more powerful piano, which gave composers an instrument that payed a wide range of volumes.

Vocal works — particularly the songs ('lieder') of Schubert  — became a popular form of parlour music, and it was during this period the Symphony rose to prominence, and concertos for piano and violin pushed the boundaries of what was playable.

Key Composers

Josef Haydn

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Ludwig Van Beethoven

Franz Schubert

Christoph Willibald Gluck

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