The Classical Era

mid-eighteenth to mid-nineteenth century

(Classical Music Map)


I. History of Classical Music  (by John Stanley)
The great composers and their masterworks in MP3 format
Albeniz Borodin Donizetti Hindemith Prokofiev Schutz
Albinoni Brahms Dowland Janacek Puccini Scriabin
Allegri Britten Dvorak Kodaly Purcell Sibelius
Arne Bruckner Falla Leoncavallo Rachmaninov Smetana
Auber Busoni Field Liszt Rameau Strauss J.S.
Bach Byrd Gabrieli Lully Ravel Strauss R.
Barber Carissimi Gershwin Mahler Respighi Stravinsky
Bartok Charpentier Gesualdo Mendelssohn Rimsky-Korsakov Tallis
Beethoven Cherubini Glinka Meyerbeer Rossini Tchaikovsky
Bellini Chopin Gluck Monteverdi Saint-Saens Telemann
Bernstein Clementi Gounod Mozart Scarlatti Verdi
Berwald Corelli Grieg Mussorgsky Schoenberg Victoria
Berlioz Couperin Handel Pachelbel Shostakovich Villa-Lobos
Bizet Debussy Haydn Paganini Schubert Vivaldi
Boccherini Delibes Hildegard Palestrina Schumann Wagner
Orff  "Carmina Burana"
II. History of Jazz

Luigi Cherubini


Luigi Cherubini
(Portrait by Jean-Auguste Ingres, 1842)


Born in Florence, Cherubini revealed his musical gifts early; by the age of 18 be had written 35 compositions, including a cantata performed in the cathedral of Florence to honour the future emperor Leopold II. Suitably impressed, Leopold granted funds for the young composer to study in Milan under the leading opera composer Giuseppe Sarti.

Cherubim's first opera, Quinto Fabio, was performed in 1780 but met with little response. He set his sights on London, and wrote La finta principessa in 1 785 and Giulio Sabino in 1786 for the King's Theatre, earning the respect of both the intelligentsia and the English royal circle. While the theatre was in summer recess, he visited Paris, where he was presented to the French queen, Mane Antoinette. He settled in the city and with the librettist Marmontel created his first French opera, Demophon performed in December 1788 without great success.

Over the next few years Cherubini conducted a number of operas for an Italian opera company in Pans started by the queen's hairdresser. He introduced changes to the orchestra and intensified the dramatic action, mirroring the temperament of a society in the throes of revolution. The theatre group broke up in 1792 and Cherubim spent the next year in the Normandy countryside working on Eliza.

Returning to an ever more turbulent Paris, Cherubim was eventually offered a post at the newly established Institut National de Musique, which two years later became the Conservatoire. He wrote several more operas, including in 1797 Medee, based on the myth of Medea, who after rejection by Jason murdered her own children. The main focus of the opera is the psychological torment of Medea, who dominates the stage in a display notable for the huge range, both in pitch and dynamics, of her vocal part.

Cherubim moved to Vienna in 1805, where he received the praise of both Haydn and Beethoven. When Napoleon marched into the city in 1809, to Cherubim's surprise the Emperor requested his return to Pans: Cherubim complied. His Requiem in С minor was later composed at the request of the government to commemorate the anniversary of the execution of Louis XVI. The work was first performed in 181 6 and was much admired by Beethoven, who preferred it to the more famous Requiem by Mozart. It has no soloists but its bare choral writing is lifted by colourful orchestration.

Relations with Napoleon soured, however, when the Emperor found fault with one of Cherubini's compositions. Cherubim's retort - "Your Majesty knows no more about it than I about a battle" -resulted in his losing his official post. Temporarily abandoning music, he retired to the chateau of the Prince of Chimay, where he studied painting and botany. However, the local church's need for a new Mass tempted him to begin composing again, and the resultant Mass was a resounding success. In 1822 he became director of the revitalized Conservatoire, a post he held for almost 20 years. After 1835. when he composed another Requiem, Cherubim concentrated on teaching, his pupils including Halevy and Auber. He died in 1842.


Luigi Cherubini



Luigi Cherubini (1760-1842)


Fountain Valley High School



L'hotellerie portugaise
Les deux journees
Les abencerages
Concert overture


Requiem in С minor Requiem in D minor



Francois Gerard















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