Hopefully you all know vaguely who Wagner was, or at least his profession. Have you heard “The Ride of the Valkyries?” Good, then you’ve heard Wagner. It’s pronounced vawg-ner, not wag-ner, so try not to be wrong. Wagner is not the only guy to put out some pretty
rad classical music. Obviously he is the poster-child, but let me educate you on the extensive family of classical composers who were allergic to lame beats.
We’ll start off with my second favorite composer, Tchaikovsky. You know, the “Nut Cracker,“ “Swan Lake?” Yeah, he’s fairly accomplished. Everything he churned out is pretty great, but the “1812 Overture” has been called “the world’s loudest overture” for a reason. It’s a huge production that rattles the eardrums with vibrations of musical excellence. Its loudness is enough to astound, but it truly is a piece of music that you feel deep in your bones. Emotional resonance is most resonant in the tunes of yore.
Richard Strauss is another pretty cool German guy like Wagner, although he was just a baby while Wagner was composing the shit out of Europe. Strauss did the intro for “2001: A Space Odyssey” a while back and he called it “Also Sprach Zarathustra.” It’s pretty catchy. I get the tingles every time I hear it, much like how you can here George Lucas giggling every time the intro music to “A New Hope” starts.
Speaking of “Star Wars,” John Williams cannot be passed over without some writing on my part. Yes, he is not as old or dead as the other guys. Just read the following list and your nostalgia will take over: “Jaws,” “Superman,” “Indiana Jones,” “Jurassic Park,” “Home Alone”… and the list goes on. John Williams is responsible for most of our childhoods, so everybody say thank you next time you read his name in the credits.
Continuing on our theme of newer-age composers, we move onto my personal favorite composer of all time, George Gershwin. My homework for you is to find “Fantasia 2000” and watch it just for the “Rhapsody in Blue” piece. Not only is “Rhapsody in Blue” incredible, but that’s not even the best of Gershwin. Gershwin composed all sorts of music for the entertainment industry; operas, musicals, movies, you name it. He may not have been as prolific as Williams, but Gershwin was definitely more artistically flexible and well rounded.
Now our last composer is only here because I have become quite enamored with his “Piano Trio No 3.” Robert Schumann was a German composer around the same time as Strauss, but Schumann was not supposed to be a composer at first. He was supposed to be the best pianist in all of Europe, but he injured his hand and so instead he wrote the best piano pieces I have ever experienced in my ear holes. Imagine how hard it must have been to be amazing at composing piano pieces but not being able to play them. Strauss tried to commit suicide a couple times, but he ended up in asylum alone and crazy. Thanks for the tunes, man.