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Top 10 Renaissance Composers

The 16th century witnessed four major musical phenomena: the polyphonic school reached its zenith, the tradition of instrumental music was founded, the first opera was produced and music began to be printed for the first time. Here's our beginner's guide to the greatest composers of the Renaissance period

Top 10 Haydn recordings

Ten of the finest Haydn recordings, from Steven Isserlis, John Eliot Gardiner, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Leif Ove Andsnes and more

This Week's Essential New Albums

Among this week's highlights are Gesualdo madrigals from Les Arts Florissants and Paul Agnew, Schnittke from Daniel Hope and Lars Vogt's Janáček

Top 10 Symphony Composers

After the extraordinary musical developments of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven the composition of a symphony became a daunting challenge, for many years the ultimate challenge for any composer. Many rose magnificently to that challenge, not least Brahms, Mahler, Sibelius and Shostakovich