A couple of weeks ago I was asked what I thought was the greatest piece of music ever written. Instantly, I thought of one piece. But the more I thought, the more came to mind.
Now, I was with a group of middle school and high school students when this question was presented, and almost all of them claimed certain pop songs were the greatest ever written.
The piece I think is the greatest ever written is as far from a pop song as it can be. When I posed the question to my parents, they both said the same thing:
Handel’s Messiah (This is only the Hallelujah chorus, but the whole thing is incredible.)
Though I agree, in my (almost) twenty years of life, there are other pieces I think are just as incredible, if not more so. *I know, that’s probably sacrilegious, please forgive me.*
So, what are the pieces I think are the greatest ever written?
-Igor Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite. I think this piece is so beautiful and wonderful. The power and gentleness wrapped up in each strain is just breathtaking and gives me goose bumps. And let’s just take a moment to talk about that French horn solo towards the end -pure beauty! I could listen to this every day, all day and never grow tired of it. Ah, it’s just so regal and strong and hopeful. I love every bit of it, and would love to play this in a concert orchestra. Goodness, I would get such a rush.
-Carl Orr’s O Fortuna. Gosh, this song. When I need a boost of power, I listen to this song. The anger in the Latin, and the intensity of voices, just breathes of power and determination. It makes me mad at the world, without being full of revenge. It’s more like I want to take the world by the hair and show it who’s boss. Plus, my freshman year in marching band, this song was part of our first piece, so it reminds me of good memories.
-Piotr Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker Suite. I love this piece. A lot. For years, my grandma has been taking me (and my mom and cousins) to see The Nutcracker Ballet at a local theater around Christmas. So hearing this piece reminds me of Christmas and the excitement and anticipation of the holidays. But memories aside, the range of music presented and the stories it tells is enough to capture my attention. It’s beautiful and delicate and a real joy to listen to. Growing up, I wanted to be a dancer in the ballet. Then I wanted to play with the orchestra that performs. Now, I just sit back and take in the awesomeness.
And finally, the piece I think is the greatest ever written …..
George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. This is probably one of my most favorite songs of all time. I love jazz and the Roaring ’20’s. This song makes me want to swing dance and learn how to play the heck out of a piano. I’m constantly amazed by the opening clarinet solo and the piano parts. And as a musician myself, I want so desperately to play this with a full orchestra group. That would a heck of a lot of fun, and the time if my life. I don’t think I can accurately explain how much I love this song. It’s just one of those things that touches my heart and refuses to let go. Ah, this is another song I could listen to all day … oh wait, I actually have this on a record! It sounds so phenomenal on a record!! Gosh, Gershwin is a pure genius and I’m totally in awe every time I hear this piece. Plus, I can’t hear it and not think of Fantasia 2000, as that was what introduced me to this incredibleness.
I know there are other incredible pieces out there in the world. I’d love to hear them, but these are my personal opinions. What do you think is the greatest piece of music ever written?
Ciao for now,