The Classical Era (1730-1810)

  • Pietro Metastasio

    Court poet in Vienna; most important author of librettos for the 18th century; his libretti were set over 800 times in the 18th and 19th centuries
  • Johann Adolf Hasse

    German composer of Italian opera; from the 1730's to the 1760's he was the most admired composer of opera seria in Italy and Germany; he was praised by most
  • Giovanni Battista Sammartini

    Galant Italian composer and innovator of the symphony in Milan, 1730's+
  • Genres

    Anthem, Aria, Ballade, Ballet, Character piece, Concerto, Etude, Incidental music, Intermezzo, Landler, Lied, March, Mazurka, Minstrel Song, Motet, Music Drama, Nocturne, Opera, Operetta, Orchestral Lied, Overture, Piano quartet, Piano trio, Prelude, Program symphony, Recitative, Sonata, Song cycle. String Quartet, String trio, Symphonic poem, Symphony, Tone poem
  • Farinelli (Carlo Broschi)

    One of the most famous castrati in the 18th century; trained by Porpora
  • Baldassare Galuppi

    Galant Italian composer, instrumentalist; key in the development of 18th century comic opera; Burney considered him the best composer of comic opera in Italy; worked in Venice, London, Milan and Vienna; collaborated with librettist Carlo Goldoni
  • Carlo Goldoni

    Italian playwright and librettist; responsible for elevating opera buffa to an art form
  • Franz Xaver Richter

    German composer, teacher, and singer; the innovator of the string quartet; one of the foremost Mannheim composers
  • Franz Benda

    Bohemian violinist, teacher, and composer; Charles Burney grreately praised him; brother of Johann Georg Benda
  • Caffarelli (Gaetano Majorani)

    Famous castrato in the 18th century; trained by Porpora, who prefereed Caffarelli to Farinelli
  • Wilhelm Friedemann Bach

    German composer; son of J.S. Bach; known as the "Halle Bach" for his work in that town; gifted, but troubled
  • Domenico Alberti

    Galant Italian composer, singer, and harpsichordist; known for his galant style and his simple, broken-chord accompaniment (now called Alberti Bass)
  • Niccolo Jommelli

    Galant Italian composer; important to opera reforms in the middle of the century; considered one of the greatest composers of his day; respected by Mozart
  • Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach

    Galant; eldest son of J.S. Bach; wrote in both Baroque and classic styles; associated with Empfindsamkeit (Empfindsam style, or the "sentimental" style); worked for 30 years in Berlin for Frederick the Great
  • Christoph Willibald Gluck

    German opera-reform composer, often considered Baroque; created a new balance between music and drama; jealous of Mozart, but who can blame him
  • Georg Christoph Wagenseil

    Austrian composer, teacher, and keyboardist; he wrote in Baroque and galant styles
  • Johann Stamitz

    Galant, symphonic innovator in Mannheim; conductor, violinist, and teacher; he helped to establish the symphonic genre
  • Leopold Mozart

    Composer, violinist, teacher, theorist, and father of Wolfgang
  • Georg Anton Benda

    Bohemian composer, important during his day as a composer of church music and stage music; brother of Franz Benda
  • Carl Friedrich Abel

    German composer and viola da gamba player; he and J.C. Bach set up a famous concert series in London
  • Giovanni Marco Rutini

    Italian composer, teacher, and keyboardist; his keyboard works represent a transition from works for harpsichord to works for piano
  • Dr. Charles Burney

    Music historian, aurthor, and organist who traveled Europe and wrote about his observations
  • Tommaso Traetta

    Italian composer and teacher; important as an opera reform composer in the middle of the 18th century
  • Johann Adam Hiller

    German composer and writer
  • Niccolo Piccinni

    Italian composer; he was a central figure in Italian and French opera from 1750 to 1800; admired by Burney as one of the four greatest composers in Italy with Sacchini, Jommelli, and Galuppi
  • Anton Cajetan Adlgasser

    German composer and organist; a transitional figure in German music from the Baroque style to the classic style; Mozart praised his counterpoint
  • Florian Leopold Gassmann

    Bohemian composer highly regarded by contemporaries; founder of the oldest musical society in Vienna, Tonkunstler-Societat
  • Antonio Sacchini

    Italian composer; admired by Burney as one of the four greatest composers in Italy along with Jommelli, Galuppi, and Piccinni; his serious operas were most respected
  • Overview

    Storm and Stress, more emotional expression; minor keys; Sonata form; Polythematic; rests were used for effect; steady tempo; Opera -> instrumental concerts; Humor in music; Melodies were singable; Harmonies were predictable; Homophony texture; Clarinet, timpani and the pianoforte were more common;
  • Period: to

    The Classical Era

  • Christian Cannabich

    Conductor, composer, and violinist in Mannheim; one of the foremost Mannheim composers
  • Franz Joseph Haydn

    A primary Austrian composer who served as innovator and mover within the new classic style; teacher, keyboardist and violinist
  • Gianfrancesco da Majo

    Reform opera composer from Naples; part of the circle of important Italian figures including Metastasio
  • Pierre-Augustin Beaumarchais

    French writer; remembered in music for his trilogy, which included The Barber of Seville (1772) and The Marriage of Figaro (1781)
  • Francois-Joseph Gossec

    Netherlands composer active in France; he was central to Parisian musical life and contributed to the development of French music
  • Johann Christian Bach

    Worked in Milan and London; son of J.S. Bach; friend and influence to Mozart; set up concert series in London with Abel
  • Johann Georg Albrechtsberger

    Austrian composer, teacher, organist, and theorist; he is remembered mostly for his contrapuntal works
  • Michael Haydn

    Brother of Franz Joseph; worked in Salzburg; contributed to 18th choral music
  • Johann Baptist Vanhal

    Czech composer and teacher; active mostly in Vienna; important to instrumental music
  • Anna Amalia, Duchess of Saxe-Weimar

    Niece of Frederick the Great; made Weimar into an important musical center
  • Carl Ditters von DIttersondorf

    Austrian composer and violinist; part of the Viennese school; fluent in many genres
  • Christian Friedrich Daniel Schubart

    German composer, poet, keyboardist, and writer; Burney praised his keyboard playing for its virtuosity
  • Giovanni Paisiello

    Italian composer and teacher; he was one of the most successful and prolific opera composers of the late 18th century
  • Andre-Ernest-Modeste Gretry

    French composer; contributed especially to the development of French opera
  • Luigi Boccherini

    Italian composer and cellist; prolific
  • Marianne Martinez

    Austrian composer of Spanish descent; studied with Metatasio, Porpora, and Haydn; singer and keyboard player; wrote works also in the Italian style
  • Carl Stamitz

    Son of Johann; composer, violinist, and violist; Mannheim composer
  • William Billings

    Most prominent composer in the New America; singing teacher; not a strong composer
  • Guiseppe Maria Cambini

    Italian composer and violinist; very popular and prolific in his day
  • Domenico Cimarosa

    Italian composer; a central figure in opera in the late 18th century; extraordinarily successful in his day
  • Lorenzo Da Ponte

    Italian librettist and poet; collaborated with Mozart; moved to the US and was a professor at Columbia College in New York; he was a controversial character
  • Johann Wolfgang von Geothe

    German poet and writer; he was a literary force behind Romanticism; composers continue to set his works to music
  • Antonio Salieri

    Italian composer and teacher; he functioned in the transitional periods between the galant and the classic and then again between the classic and the romantic; extremely successful
  • Johann Friedrich Reichardt

    German composer and writer; prolific and well known
  • Muzio Clementi

    English composer of Italian birth; keyboardist, teacher, music publisher, and piano manufacturer
  • Niccolo Antonio Zingarelli

    Italian composer and teacher; conservative style
  • Franz Anton Hoffmeister

    Austrian composer and music publisher
  • Vincente Martin y Soler

    Spanish composer; important opera composer in his day; collaborated with Da Ponte
  • Giovanni Battista Viotti

    Italian composer and violinist; the most important violinist after Tartini; he is considered the founder of the 19th century French school of violin technique
  • Joseph Martin Kraus

    German-Swedish composer who studied in Mannheim; orginal style and widely known; accomplished poet
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    Austrian composer; child prodigy; worte in all genres; best innovations were in opera; he represents to many today the epitome of the classic style; one of the best musicians and composers of all time
  • Ignaz Josef Pleyel

    Austrian composer, piano maker, and publisher; he was most important for his publishing house in Paris, publishing over 4000 works from 1795 to 1834
  • Carl Friedrich Zelter

    German composer, teacher, and conductor; most important for his vocal works and his influence in Berlin
  • Maria Thereisa von Paradis

    Austrian pianist, organist, singer; blind from age 2; knew Mozart; studied with Salieri; lead a music school in Vienna for woman
  • Jan Ladislav Dussek

    Czech composer and pianist; one of the early touring concert pianists
  • Johann Rudolf Zumsteeg

    German composer and conductor; admired for his text settings
  • Franz Xaver Sussmayr

    Austrian composer; student of Mozart; helped in the completion of Mozart's Requiem
  • Clarinet

    By the 1770's and 80's the clarinet was commonly used in orchestral and chamber music giving the composer a new tone color to manipulate
  • Piano

    A patented version of the piano emerged in England in 1777. From this point on, the piano experienced changes that strengthened it and expanded its versatility