Best Classical Music of 2016
- Best Orchestral Pieces
- Best Piano Pieces
- Best Opera Pieces
A list of the best classical music of 2016.
Best Orchestral Pieces
It was a year of ups and downs, but when it came to classical music, 2016 was a banner year. From new works by some of today’s most innovative composers to stunning performances by established masters, there was plenty to enjoy. And, as always, a few surprises.
“The Nutcracker” by Tchaikovsky
The Nutcracker is a two-act ballet, originally composed by Tchaikovsky in 1892. The story follows a young girl who is given a nutcracker doll that comes alive and takes her on a magical journey. The ballet is one of the most popular Christmas traditions and is often performed during the holiday season.
The music of The Nutcracker is some of the most recognizable classical music in the world. The ballet’s most famous piece, “The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy,” has been used in countless commercials and films, including The Wizard of Oz and Fantasia. Other popular pieces from the ballet include “The March of the Toy Soldiers” and “The Waltz of the Flowers.”
“Swan Lake” by Tchaikovsky
Swan Lake is a ballet composed by Tchaikovsky in 1875–76. Despite its initial failure, it is now one of the most popular of all ballets. The scenario, originally in four acts, was fashioned from Russian folk tales and tells the story of Odette, a princess turned into a swan by an evil sorcerer’s curse. The choreographer of the original production was Julius Reisinger. The ballet was premiered by the Bolshoi Ballet on 20 February 1877 at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow. Although it is presented in many different versions, most ballets today follow the scenario created by Marius Petipa for the Mariinsky Ballet in 1895:Prince Siegfried chances upon a flock of swans while out hunting. One of the swans, Von Rothbart, an evil sorcerer, appears and mesmerizes everyone but Siegfried. When Siegfried declares his love for Odette, Von Rothbart demonstrates his power by transforming her into a swan again. Since only the power of true love can break the curse, Von Rothbart throws him into despair by showing him Odile – Odette’s look-alike – whom he brings to the ball at Siegfried’s palace to deceive him for Von Rothbart’s own evil purposes..
“The Sleeping Beauty” by Tchaikovsky
When most people think of Tchaikovsky, they think of “The Nutcracker.” But there’s so much more to this Russian composer than just that holiday ballet. “The Sleeping Beauty” is another one of his well-known compositions, and it’s just as beautiful.
Written in 1889, “The Sleeping Beauty” is a ballet in three acts. It tells the story of a princess who falls asleep for 100 years and is awakened by a prince. The story is based on a fairy tale by Charles Perrault.
The music for “The Sleeping Beauty” is some of the most beautiful that Tchaikovsky ever wrote. It’s both tragic and ethereal, and it will transport you to another world. If you’re looking for some classical music to add to your collection, this piece is a great choice.
Best Piano Pieces
It was a great year for classical music, and there were many amazing piano pieces released. Here are some of the best ones.
“Für Elise” by Ludwig van Beethoven
One of the most famous piano pieces ever written, “Für Elise” is a timeless classic that has been beloved by music lovers for centuries. First published in 1810, the piece was composed by Ludwig van Beethoven as a tribute to the German city of Elise. The piece is characterized by its beautiful melody and innovative piano writing, and it remains one of Beethoven’s most popular works to this day.
” Moonlight Sonata” by Ludwig van Beethoven
Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata” is one of the most popular pieces of classical music ever written. It was composed in 1801, and published in 1802. The piece is actually three sonatas, each in a different key, played one after the other. The first sonata is in C-sharp minor, the second is in D-flat major, and the third is in C-sharp minor. The “Moonlight Sonata” gets its name from an essay by German music critic Ludwig Rellstab, who compared the music to moonlight shining on a lake.
“Clair de Lune” by Claude Debussy
One of the most recognized pieces of classical music, “Clair de Lune” by Claude Debussy is a beautiful, ethereal piece that has been captivating audiences for over a century. The name “Clair de Lune” comes from a French poem which means “light of the moon.” The piece was originally written for solo piano, but has since been transcribed for other instruments, including orchestra. It is one of Debussy’s most popular works and continues to be performed and recorded by many artists today.
Best Opera Pieces
Classical music is an interesting genre that can be appreciated by people of all ages. It has been around for centuries, and it seems to only be getting more popular. Many people enjoy listening to classical music because it is calming and relaxing. It can also be very exciting and emotional.
“Nessun Dorma” from “Turandot” by Giacomo Puccini
Nessun Dorma is an aria from the opera Turandot by Giacomo Puccini. It is sung by Calaf, a prince who has fallen in love with the cold Princess Turandot and will only win her hand if he can solve three riddles. If he fails, he will die. The aria’s text expresses Calaf’s resolve to win Turandot even if it costs him his life.
The piece became widely known outside classical circles when Luciano Pavarotti sang Nessun Dorma as part of the opening ceremony of the 1990 FIFA World Cup in Italy.
“La donna è mobile” from “Rigoletto” by Giuseppe Verdi
This aria from one of Verdi’s most popular operas has been featured in everything from “The Sopranos” to “The Simpsons.” In “Rigoletto,” it’s sung by the dastardly Duke of Mantua as a sort of theme song for his many conquests. But it’s also one of the most beautiful and technically demanding arias in the tenor repertoire, and it has been recorded by some of the most famous opera singers in history, including Luciano Pavarotti and Giuseppe Di Stefano.
“O mio babbino caro” from “Gianni Schicchi” by Giacomo Puccini
“O mio babbino caro” is a soprano aria from the opera “Gianni Schicchi” by Giacomo Puccini. It is sung by the character Lauretta after her father, Gianni Schicchi, has been sentenced to death for impersonating a dead man. The aria is one of the most popular opera pieces, and has been recorded by many famous singers including Maria Callas, Renee Fleming, and Kiri Te Kanawa.