In this collection, we consider 12 of the great composers, from Bach to Rachmaninoff. Covering Baroque, Classical, and Romantic music, many of the works remain instantly recognisable even amongst non-classical music fans. The biographies we present here cover not only all the symphonies, concertos, and operas but also the stories behind them, the historical context, and the personal trials and tribulations of the composers, who often suffered financial hardship and went against public taste to get their music performed.
The story of Tosca was too shocking for many critics, but the public adored it. With the proceeds, Puccini bought himself a motor car, but, driven by a chauffeur, he crashed in it near Lucca and broke his leg, an accident which left him with a permanent limp.