– a composition for a smaller ensemble of instruments (a duo, a trio, a quartet, a quintet, and the like)
The history of chamber music dates back to three great composers of the Classical period – Joseph Haydn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Ludwig van Beethoven – who absolutely perfected the genre. Among famous chamber works, we can find for example Haydn’s String Quartets, op. 76 which he composed between 1797–1798 and dedicated to the Hungarian count Joseph Georg von Erdődy.
– a composition for a soloist or a duo which contains not only music but also lyrics
In the history of European music, composition of songs embodied intimacy. The union of words and music belongs among the most pleasant ways of expressing a wide variety of human emotions. Among notable composers of songs and song cycles, we can mention Franz Schubert, Robert Schumann or Gustav Mahler.
The song cycle Woman’s Love and Life composed by Robert Schumann, a German composer, in 1840, was probably inspired by his relationship with Clara Wieck whom he married the same year despite his father’s disagreement.
– a composition for a symphony orchestra (wind / percussion / string instruments)
Everyone has probably come across Shiller’s Ode to Joy which was made famous by Ludwig van Beethoven, a German composer, in his Symphony No. 9 in D minor. The composer dedicated it to the Friedrich Wilhelm III., king of Prussia.
His work inspired another significant symphony composer, Gustav Mahler, who dedicated his magnificent Symphony No. 8 to his wife Alma. More than thousand performers participated on its premiere which was an enormous success. These authors together with continuators of the symphony tradition, such as Anton Bruckner, Antonín Dvořák or Dmitri Shostakovich, were instrumental in symphony’s entering the history as one of the key music genres.
Vocal music piece with instrumental accompaniment
– a composition for an instrumental ensemble and a vocal component (soloists / choir)
Composers achieved the real grandeur in vocal music pieces with instrumental accompaniment of great extent, such as oratories, cantatas, masses and operas which were linked to important ceremonial occasions.
Among the most notable composers of such pieces but also overall definitely belongs Johann Sebastian Bach, a German composer. One of the last works he composed is his Mass in B minor dedicated to Augustus III, king of Poland, Prince-elector of Lithuania and hereditary Duke of Saxony.