From the Library: The “Big Three” — Bach, Mozart and Beethoven

Today, Radio Riel fea­tures music by the three com­posers that are wide­ly con­sid­ered to be the great­est com­posers, in the West­ern tra­di­tion, of all time.

Let us thank Mr. Wikipedia for pro­vid­ing the fol­low­ing infor­ma­tion on our three pro­lif­ic gen­tle­men:

Johann Sebas­t­ian Bach (31 March [O.S. 21 March] 1685 – 28 July 1750) was a Ger­man com­pos­er and organ­ist whose sacred and sec­u­lar works for choir, orches­tra, and solo instru­ments drew togeth­er the strands of the Baroque peri­od and brought it to its ulti­mate matu­ri­ty. Although he intro­duced no new forms, he enriched the pre­vail­ing Ger­man style with a robust con­tra­pun­tal tech­nique, an unri­valled con­trol of har­mon­ic and motivic organ­i­sa­tion in com­po­si­tion for diverse musi­cal forces, and the adap­ta­tion of rhythms and tex­tures from abroad, par­tic­u­lar­ly Italy and France.

Wolf­gang Amadeus Mozart (27 Jan­u­ary 1756 – 5 Decem­ber 1791) was a pro­lif­ic and influ­en­tial com­pos­er of the Clas­si­cal era. His over 600 com­po­si­tions include works wide­ly acknowl­edged as pin­na­cles of sym­phon­ic, con­cer­tante, cham­ber, piano, oper­at­ic, and choral music. Mozart is among the most endur­ing­ly pop­u­lar of clas­si­cal com­posers, and many of his works are part of the stan­dard con­cert reper­toire.

Lud­wig van Beethoven (16 Decem­ber 1770[1] – 26 March 1827) was a Ger­man com­pos­er and pianist. He was a cru­cial fig­ure in the tran­si­tion­al peri­od between the Clas­si­cal and Roman­tic eras in West­ern clas­si­cal music, and remains one of the most respect­ed and influ­en­tial com­posers of all time. Born in Bonn, then in the Elec­torate of Cologne (now in mod­ern-day Ger­many), he moved to Vien­na in his ear­ly twen­ties and set­tled there, study­ing with Joseph Haydn and quick­ly gain­ing a rep­u­ta­tion as a vir­tu­oso pianist. Beethoven’s hear­ing grad­u­al­ly dete­ri­o­rat­ed begin­ning in his twen­ties, yet he con­tin­ued to com­pose mas­ter­pieces, and to con­duct and per­form, even after he was com­plete­ly deaf.

Radio Riel pro­duces this pro­gram in con­junc­tion with the Cale­don Library in Sec­ond Life. Today’s music orig­i­nates from the music library of Gabrielle Riel.

For more infor­ma­tion on the Cale­don Library, cur­rent exhibits and the work of Sec­ond Life ref­er­ence libraries in gen­er­al, please vis­it the Cale­don Library Web site, or one of their loca­tions in-world.

You can lis­ten to the pro­gram now at, or sim­ply vis­it any Cale­don Library branch in-world and press Play on your embed­ded music play­er.

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