A brief History of Classical Music
through its greatest compositions

(compiled by Piero Scaruffi)


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Synopses of classical musicians

Medieval Era


Hildegard von Bingen (Germany, 1098): Antiphons, Sequences, Responsoria
Leonin (France, 1135): Magnus Liber Organi
Perotin (France, 11##): Viderunt omnes & Sederunt principes
Guillaume Machault (France, 1300): Messe de Notre Dame
Guillaume Machault (France, 1300): Chansons balladees (or virelais)
Francesco Landino (Italy, 1325): Ballate
John Dunstable (Italy, 1385): Motets
Guillaume Dufay (France, 1400): Missa Caput
Guillaume Dufay (France, 1400): Messe "Se La Face Ay Pale"
Guillaume Dufay (France, 1400): Messe "L'Homme Arme`"
Guillaume Dufay (France, 1400): Chansons
Guillaume Dufay (France, 1400): Motets
Gilles Binchois (France, 1400): Chansons
Johannes Ockeghem (Belgium, 1420): Motets
Johannes Ockeghem (Belgium, 1420): Missa Prolationum
Johannes Ockeghem (Belgium, 1420): Missa Caput
Josquin Despres/ De Prez (France, 1440): Chansons
Josquin Despres/ De Prez (France, 1440): Motets
Josquin Despres (France, 1440): Messe "Malheur Me Bat"
Josquin Despres (France, 1440): Messe "Allez Regrets"
Josquin Despres (France, 1440): Messe "Gaudeamus"
Josquin Despres (France, 1440): Messe "Mater Patris"
Josquin Despres (France, 1440): Messe "Fortuna Disperata"
Josquin Despres (France, 1440): Miserere
Josquin Despres (France, 1440): De Profundis
Heinrich Isaac (Belgium, 1450): Choralis Constantinus
Jacob Obrecht (Holland, 1452): Missa Caput
Jacob Obrecht (Holland, 1452): Missa Super Maria

Renaissance Era


Philippe Verdelot (France, 1480): Madrigals
Clement Janequin (France, 1485): La Guerre
Adrian Willaert (Holland, 1490): Motets
Adrian Willaert (Holland, 1490): Madrigals
John Taverner (Britain, 1490): Western Wynde Mass
John Taverner (Britain, 1490): Missa "Gloria Tibi Trinitas"
Nicolas Gombert (France, 1495): Motets
Cristobal de Morales (Spain, 1500): Magnificat
Thomas Tallis (Britain, 1505): Lamentations
Thomas Tallis (Britain, 1505): Spem in Alium (1570)
Jacob Arcadelt (France, 1505): Missa "Noe Noe"
Jacob Arcadelt (France, 1505): Madrigals
Andrea Gabrieli (Italy, 1510): Psalmi Davidici
Andrea Gabrieli (Italy, 1510): Gloria
Andrea Gabrieli (Italy, 1510): Edipo Tiranno (1585)
Andrea Gabrieli (Italy, 1510): Intonazioni
Andrea Gabrieli (Italy, 1510): Madrigals
Andrea Gabrieli (Italy, 1510): Motets
Cyprien DeRore (Holland, 1516): Madrigals
Philippe DeMonte (France, 1521): Madrigals
Giovanni Palestrina (Italy, 1525): Missa Papae Marcelli
Giovanni Palestrina (Italy, 1525): Missa Nigra Sum (1590)
Giovanni Palestrina (Italy, 1525): Missa "Assumpta Est Maria"
Giovanni Palestrina (Italy, 1525): Motets
Giovanni Palestrina (Italy, 1525): Madrigals
Orlando di Lasso (Germany, 1532): Madrigals
Orlando di Lasso (Germany, 1532): Lieder
Orlando di Lasso (Germany, 1532): Motets
Orlando di Lasso (Germany, 1532): Psalmi Poenetentiales (1584)
Claudio Merulo (Italy, 1533): Toccate
William Byrd (Britain, 1543): Motets
Tomas Victoria (Spain, 1548): Motets
Tomas Victoria (Spain, 1548): Officium Hebetomadae Sanetae
Orazio Vecchi (Italy, 1550): Antfiparnaso (1597)
Luca Marenzio (Italy, 1553): Madrigals
Giovanni Gabrieli (Italy, 1553): Canzoni et Sonate (1615)
Giovanni Gabrieli (Italy, 1553): Sacrae Symphoniae (1597)
Thomas Morley (Britain, 1557): Madrigals
Lodovico Viadana (Italy, 1560): Concerti Ecclesiastici (1602)
Carlo Gesualdo (Italy, 1561): Madrigals
Carlo Gesualdo (Italy, 1561): Tenebrae
John Dowland (Britain, 1562): Lute songs
John Dowland (Britain, 1562): First Booke of Songes (1597)
Jan Sweelinck (Holland, 1562): Chansons
Jan Sweelinck (Holland, 1562): Organ music
Claudio Monteverdi (Italy, 1567): Madrigals/ Book V (1605)
Claudio Monteverdi (Italy, 1567): Madrigals/ Book VIII (1638)
Claudio Monteverdi (Italy, 1567): Vespro della Beata Vergine (1610)
Claudio Monteverdi (Italy, 1567): Selva Morale e Spirituale (1641)
Gregorio Allegri (Italy, 1582): Miserere (163#)
Girolamo Frescobaldi (Italy, 1583): Toccate (1615)
Girolamo Frescobaldi (Italy, 1583): Fiori Musicali (1635)
Heinrich Schuetz (Germany, 1585): Psalmen Davids (1619)
Heinrich Schuetz (Germany, 1585): Kleine Geistliche Konzerte (1639)
Heinrich Schuetz (Germany, 1585): Symphoniae Sacrae (1650)
Heinrich Schuetz (Germany, 1585): Cantiones Sacrae (1625)
Heinrich Schuetz (Germany, 1585): The Seven Last Words (1645)
Heinrich Schuetz (Germany, 1585): Christmas Oratorio (1664)
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Samuel Scheidt (Germany, 1587): Tabulatura Nova (1624)

Opera


Jacopo Peri (Italy, 1561): Euridice (1600)
Claudio Monteverdi (Italy, 1567): Orfeo (1607)
Claudio Monteverdi (Italy, 1567): Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda (1624)
Claudio Monteverdi (Italy, 1567): L'Incoronazione di Poppea (1642)
Claudio Monteverdi (Italy, 1567): Lamento d'Arianna (1608)
Giambattista Lulli/ Lully (France, 1632): Armide (1686)
Giambattista Lulli/ Lully (France, 1632): Amadis (1684)
Alessandro Stradella (Italy, 1644): San Giovanni Battista (1675)
Henry Purcell (Britain, 1659): Dido and Aeneas (1689)
Alessandro Scarlatti (Italy, 1660): Griselda (1721)
JeanPhilippe Rameau (France, 1683): Hyppolite et Aricie (1733)
JeanPhilippe Rameau (France, 1683): Les Indes Galantes (1735)
JeanPhilippe Rameau (France, 1683): Zoroastre (1749)
JeanPhilippe Rameau (France, 1683): Castor et Pollux (1737)
Georg Handel (Germany, 1685): Julius Caesar (1724)
Georg Handel (Germany, 1685): Alcina (1735)
Georg Handel (Germany, 1685): Serse (1738)

Baroque Era


Giacomo Carissimi (Italy, 1605): Jephte
Dietrich Buxtehude (Germany, 1637): Cantate
Dietrich Buxtehude (Germany, 1637): Toccate
Dietrich Buxtehude (Germany, 1637): Chorale preludes
Buhurizade Itri (Turkey, 1640): Neva Kar
MarcAntoine Charpentier (France, 1643): Te Deum
MarcAntoine Charpentier (France, 1643): Tenebrae (1692)
Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber (Austria, 1664): Mystery Sonatas
Johann Pachelbel (Germany, 1653): Variations
Johann Pachelbel (Germany, 1653): Canon in D (1694)
Arcangelo Corelli (Italy, 1653): Concerti Grossi Op 6 (1714)
Arcangelo Corelli (Italy, 1653): Concerti Grossi Op 5 (1700)
Arcangelo Corelli (Italy, 1653): Trio Sonatas
Giuseppe Torelli (Italy, 1658): Violin concertos op.8 (1709)
Henry Purcell (Britain, 1659): Songs
Henry Purcell (Britain, 1659): The Fairy Queen (1692)
Henry Purcell (Britain, 1659): Music for a While (1692)
Henry Purcell (Britain, 1659): Ode for St Cecilia's Day (1692)
Henry Purcell (Britain, 1659): Music for Queen Mary 91695)
Alessandro Scarlatti (Italy, 1660): Cantate
Francois Couperin (France, 1668): Lecons de Tenebres (1715)
Francois Couperin (France, 1668): Pieces de Clavecin (1730)
Francois Couperin (France, 1668): Les Nations (1726)
Tomaso Albinoni (Italy, 1671): "Adagio"
Antonio Vivaldi (Italy, 1678): Il Cimento dell'Armonia op.8 (1725)
Antonio Vivaldi (Italy, 1678): La Cetra op.9 (1728)
Antonio Vivaldi (Italy, 1678): Concerti op.7 (1725)
Antonio Vivaldi (Italy, 1678): L'Estro Armonico op.3 (1712)
Antonio Vivaldi (Italy, 1678): Stabat Mater (1727)
Antonio Vivaldi (Italy, 1678): Concerto Strings A Major RV159
Antonio Vivaldi (Italy, 1678): Concerto Bassoon E minor RV 484
Antonio Vivaldi (Italy, 1678): Concerto for two Cellos (1720)
Youstol Dispage (France, 1678): "Piero Scaruffi" (1712)
Jan Dismas Zelenka (Czech, 1679): Missa Dei Patris
Georg Telemann (Germany, 1681): Musique de Table (1733)
Georg Telemann (Germany, 1681): Der fuer die Suende der Welt gemarterte
Georg Telemann (Germany, 1681): Der Tag des Gerichts (1765)
Georg Telemann (Germany, 1681): Trumpet Concerto in D major (1734)
Jean-Joseph Mouret (France, 1682): Suite of Symphonies No. 1 (1729)
JeanPhilippe Rameau (France, 1683): Pieces de clavecin en Concerts (1741)
JeanPhilippe Rameau (France, 1683): Nouvelles Suites de pieces de clavecin (1728)
JohannSebastian Bach (Germany, 1685): Cantata 147 (1723)
JohannSebastian Bach (Germany, 1685): Toccata & Fugue BWV 565
JohannSebastian Bach (Germany, 1685): "St Anne" Fugue in E-flat major BWV 552
JohannSebastian Bach (Germany, 1685): French Suites BWV 812-817 (1721)
JohannSebastian Bach (Germany, 1685): English Suites BWV 806-811 (1715)
JohannSebastian Bach (Germany, 1685): Sonatas and Partitas for violin BWV 1001-1006 (1720)
JohannSebastian Bach (Germany, 1685): Magnificat in D major BWV 243 (1723)
JohannSebastian Bach (Germany, 1685): Die Kunst der Fuge (1749)
JohannSebastian Bach (Germany, 1685): Preludes and Fugues
JohannSebastian Bach (Germany, 1685): Goldberg Variations (1742)
JohannSebastian Bach (Germany, 1685): Brandenburger Concertos (1721)
JohannSebastian Bach (Germany, 1685): Orchestral Suites (1731)
JohannSebastian Bach (Germany, 1685): Cello Suites (1723)
JohannSebastian Bach (Germany, 1685): Musikalisches Opfer (1747)
JohannSebastian Bach (Germany, 1685): St Matthew Passion (1729)
JohannSebastian Bach (Germany, 1685): Das Wohltemperierte Clavier (1722)
JohannSebastian Bach (Germany, 1685): Christmas Oratorio
JohannSebastian Bach (Germany, 1685): Concerto for Three Harpsichords in C Major BWV 1064
JohannSebastian Bach (Germany, 1685): Keyboard Concerto in F minor BWV 1056
JohannSebastian Bach (Germany, 1685): St John Passion (1724)
JohannSebastian Bach (Germany, 1685): Mass in B Minor (1749)
JohannSebastian Bach (Germany, 1685): Fantasy in A Minor BWV 922 (1713)
JohannSebastian Bach (Germany, 1685): Triple Concerto for Flute, Violin, Harpsichord and Strings (1740)
Georg Handel (Germany, 1685): Water Music (1717)
Georg Handel (Germany, 1685): Royal Fireworks (1749)
Georg Handel (Germany, 1685): Grand Concertos op.6 (1739)
Georg Handel (Germany, 1685): Israel in Egypt (1739)
Georg Handel (Germany, 1685): Saul (1739)
Georg Handel (Germany, 1685): Messiah (1742)
Georg Handel (Germany, 1685): Acis and Galatea (1732)
Georg Handel (Germany, 1685): Ode for St Cecilia's Day (1739)
Georg Handel (Germany, 1685): The Triumph of Time and Truth (1757)
Georg Handel (Germany, 1685): Organ concertos op.4 (1737)
Georg Handel (Germany, 1685): Concerti grossi op.6 (1739)
Georg Handel (Germany, 1685): Dixit Dominus (1707)
Georg Handel (Germany, 1685): Jeptha (1752)
Georg Handel (Germany, 1685): L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato (1740)
Domenico Scarlatti (Italy, 1685): Harpsichord Sonata K30 in G minor "The Cat's Fugue"
Domenico Scarlatti (Italy, 1685): Harpsichord Sonata K140 in D major
Domenico Scarlatti (Italy, 1685): Harpsichord Sonata K141
Domenico Scarlatti (Italy, 1685): Harpsichord Sonata K318 in F sharp major
Domenico Scarlatti (Italy, 1685): Harpsichord Sonata K398
Domenico Scarlatti (Italy, 1685): Harpsichord Sonata K455 in G
Domenico Scarlatti (Italy, 1685): Harpsichord Sonata K472 in B-flat major
Domenico Scarlatti (Italy, 1685): Harpsichord Sonata K491
Domenico Scarlatti (Italy, 1685): Harpsichord Sonata K501 in C major
Domenico Scarlatti (Italy, 1685): Harpsichord Sonata K517 in D minor
Domenico Scarlatti (Italy, 1685): Harpsichord Sonata K518
Domenico Scarlatti (Italy, 1685): Harpsichord Sonata K544
Francesco Geminiani (Italy, 1687): Concerti Grossi Opus 3 (1733)
Francesco Geminiani (Italy, 1687): The Enchanted Forest (1754)
Giuseppe Tartini (Italy, 1692): Concerti
Giuseppe Tartini (Italy, 1692): Sontate

Composers born in the 18th century

Composers born in the 19th century

Composers born after 1899

Composers born after 1929

Composers born after 1949


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The Essential Sonatas
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The Greatest Pianists
The Essential Concertos (except piano)
The Greatest Violin Players
The Essential Trios, Quartets, Quintets, Sextets
The Greatest Flutists, Cellists, etc
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