Who are the darkest, most dramatic and fiercest of all classical and modern composers?

I like my classical music like I like my metal }=)


I've tried to listen to all of the composers that have been recommended, but I haven't finished with all of them, so in fear of making an uneducated decision, this question will be put up for voting. Thanks to everyone who responded.

25 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Best Answer


  • 1 decade ago

    That is rather hard to pin down, mainly because composers have dark and light pieces! They're very versatile. For instance, in Mussorgky's Pictures at an Exhibition, dark and light pieces are aplenty. Good examples are 'Hut on Fowl's Legs' (dark) and 'The Great Gate of Kiev' (light). Both are a study in contrast.

    Modern Composers:

    Fiercest has to be Stravinsky who composed 'The Rite of Spring'. Darkest has to be Bartok's 'The Miraculous Mandarin'.


    Tartini's Devil's Trill

    Vivaldi's 'Summer' Concerto, the 3rd movt

    Enjoy them!

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Wagner obviously comes first to mind, but Brahms has some incredible, earth-shaking symphonies that make your head feel split by an axe out of the depths of time.

    I'm really surprised nobody's mentioned Eugene Ysaye! Not all of it by any means (and there isn't much) but some of his music is so fearsomely dark, I fear he might've been a vampire or something.

    They're not entirely dark, but the first times I heard Mars, the Bringer of War (Holzt, from The Planets), the 3rd/final movement of the Barber Violin Concerto (originally refused, with a refund demanded, as unplayable), and the first movement to St. Paul's Suite (also Holzt), I couldn't help but roar with glee and hammer my fist against the car window as I drove down the road.

    I used to dig metal in a big way, but for me the inevitable progression was onto HARDCORE =) do a youtube search for Komprex to hear a little bit of speedcore. That might be the ticket for you =)

    Finally, there are other good leads (Rachmaninoff is a great one) but try to get your hands on a recording of Leonard Bernstein's final performance. It's not so much dark but it's so incredibly powerful I can't imagine having been in the crowd without rising awed to my feet in sheer wonderment. Something about that recording was so powerful I don't know that I breathed for several minutes at a time.

    Source(s): Like my vivid answer? Sure you do =) vote it best! ;)
  • 1 decade ago


    You are asking for composers who represent Romantic values. In the classical world this doesn't mean romantic, like smoochy movies, it means composers presenting the most emotional side of music. This contrasts with Classisists (think Mozart) who's music is more about the emotion coming out in a subtle way.

    Look for composers labeled as Romantic, Late Romantic or Post-Romantic.


    Beethoven (who works brought us Romanticism)







    Verdi (get the requiem...)



    Late Romantic


    Schoenberg (early stuff, before 12 tone)

    Richard Strauss




    Stravinsky (really sort of neo-classical, but fierce and dark at times)







    Other styles


    Hindemith (also Neo Classic, but dark and emotional)

    That should get you started...

    Source(s): I'm a college music teacher and pro symphony musician
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  • 1 decade ago

    Dark eh? Well Stravinsky is fierce as heck in The Rite of Spring. Try that one.Cleveland Orchestra/ Lorin Mazell is my fav. recording of it. It might give YOU a headache like metal give me a headache :P

    Also Bela Bartok is very dramatic and very austere. Try the Concerto for Orchestra.I think also that you may enjoy some of the 20th C. avante garde people such as Zenakis, Stockhausen and John Cage. You would have a hard time getting more dark than "Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima" by Krystoff Pendercki!

    Enjoy and keep your ears open!

  • 1 decade ago

    Since you said modern composers, I would have to say,

    Jim Morrison of the Doors.

    I consider Light My Fire a true classic.

    Had you left off the word modern, I would have said

    Rachmaninoff. I never hear dark in Beethoven, but I can hear fierce.

    Hope I helped. dd

  • 1 decade ago

    For me it's Beethoven, as for modern ones, I couldn't say I don't ever listen to the new ones. occasionally someone like Stanly Myers, he wrote the guitar theme for the Deer Hunter, and Rota, he wrote the theme for the Godfather, played on guitar of course, I can't get into the newer modern composers, sorry. As you can tell I play classical guitar. I'm into the old composers, like Bach, Vivaldi, and Rodrigo. I like concertos and solo music. I love rock and roll also, I grew up with it. I go from Bach to Zeppelin

  • 1 decade ago

    chopin is amazing. Some of his music (nocturnes especially) are simply beautiful and calming. But open a book of etude or preludes....your seeing a whole different side of him. He is INSANE!!! if oyu play piano, try learning an etude by chopin, it's no walk in the park. his revolutionary etude (op. 10 no.12) that is really crazy, but fun to play. The left hand is amazing. His first etude is pretty exciting as well.


    Youtube thumbnail


    also, i like his first etude

    Some of what dvorak wrote is pretty 'heavy metal'

    than there is paganini.....not heavy metal, but look at this:


    Youtube thumbnail

    now imagine your the violinist (lol)

    finally, bartok is pretty 'dark' as well, forgot 2 include him earlier!

  • 1 decade ago

    Dark and Dramatic. Sounds like Beethoven!

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Rachmaninoff, Mahler, Shostakovich

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Puccini - E Lucivan Le Stelle

    Puccini - Nessun Dorma

    Carl Orff - O Fortuna

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