Top 5...Baroque composers

5.Domenico Scarlatti

He wrote over five hundred and fifty keyboard sonatas, and his quirky harmonies and flamboyant spanish and portuguesedance rhythms make him the Baroque Chopin. These keyboard sonatas, performed on the harpsichord by Trevor Pinnock, are some of his best. Expect Fireworks!



4. Henry Purcell

Purcell is never predictable. One of the few English composers of the Baroque still well-known today, Purcell's quirky compositions and playful musical style never fail to charm. His classic opera "Dido and Aeneas" is one of the best operas in the English language, but he also wrote some fantastic choral anthems, sung on this album by the Choir of New College, Oxford.



3. Georg Philipp Telemann

He is the most prolific composer in history, recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records as leaving behind over eight hundred compositions. Some of his greatest works are for strings These concertos for violin and and viola are the perfect example. Pour a glass of wine, run a long bath and press play...





2. Johann Sebastian Bach

Bach is known as the grandfather of Baroque music, and rightly so. A formidable improvisor and incredible keyboard player, he also wrote music for nearly every instrument and form. As a church organist, many of his compositions include a choir, like the Christmas Oratorio, conducted in this fantastic recording by Helmuth Rilling. Festive and rousing - it's perfect listening for the winter months!



1. George Frideric Handel

Born in 1685 - the same year as both Bach and Scarlatti - Handel is the master of baroque opera. Although he grew up in Germany, he made his name in England, where he was the star composer of the London opera houses. Handel had an uncanny ability to potray everything from lustful and angry teenagers to anxious fading beauties using the standard baroque "da capo" aria. See for youself by listening to mezzo-soprano Ewa Podles's album of Handel arias.