Tuned up Thursday: Classical music favorites

I’ve talked about lots of music on this blog already, but I don’t think I’ve ever talked about classical music on here before. Classical music is a genre that had to grow on me. It’s not something that I necessarily grew up listening to. Sure, I listened to a few bits and bops here and there, but I never, like, really got into classical music. It’s still one of my most underrepresented genres, but I’m trying to listen to things from time to time, and usually find out that I like them. By this time, I’ve listened to enough classical music that I can say I have a few favorites that do not leave my playlists or music selection on my phone. These are 10 classical music pieces (some longer or shorter) that I cannot get enough of.

Bach – Cello Suite 1 (Prelude)

One of my favorite instruments is the cello. It has a very warm feel to it and I love this prelude. I find it very soothing and love whenever this randomly pops up during my daily commute. Especially if it’s a very early morning.

Beethoven – 9th Ode to Joy

This is simply beauty in a song. Very easily recognizable and just one of those pieces that takes you along as you keep on listening. Magnificent!

Berlioz – Symphony Fantastique

A fairytale in music, that’s how I would describe this. This is only part of a longer symphony and this part represents a ball, which I think goes really nicely with the rhythm of this. I can imagine a big room full of people dancing to this in period costumes.

Chopin – (Op. 9) Nocturne No. 2 in Eb Major

I have all of the Nocturnes by Chopin on my phone and this one is probably my favorite. I love piano music pieces. I find them very soothing as long as they don’t get too crazy. There is something delicate and frivolous about this tune that I love.

Dvorak – Symphony No. 9

The second movement of this symphony is simply sublime. This was probably one of the first classical pieces that made its way into my regular playlists. It’s got a very light and airy feel to it at first, but then becomes more dramatic and a bit sad even.

Jenkins – Allegretto

Don’t be fooled by the way this sounds, because this is far more recent then you might think. It is in fact from 1996, but that doesn’t make it any less good. There is something antsy about it thought, so I can only listen to this when I’m in the mood for it.

Prokofiev – Dance of the Knights Romeo & Juliet

I went to see Romeo & Juliet performed by the London Royal Ballet in October last year and this is probably the most recognizable piece from the entire ballet. I loved the music so much, that I actually went out and bought the full ballet on CD. It’s stunning overall, but just this piece gives me goose bumps every time and transports me back to the Royal Opera House to relive some of my favorite memories of the performance.

Satie – Lere Gymnopedie

Probably one of the first classical music pieces I ever came across. I still love it. It’s so calming, almost meditative and that’s what I like about this. I love playing this after a long day to unwind and get ready for bed.

Sibelius –  Symphony 2 in D – Op.43 – IV – Finale

You should actually listen to the entire symphony, but I especially love the finale of this one. One of my friends, who plays the french horn, introduced me to Sibelius, when I first started to get more serious about delving into classical music. I love the sweeping feel of this part of the symphony and how it builds, holds back, and then brings you to the last part. Like you’re talking along for a ride that you don’t want to end.

Weissenberg – Debussy, Clair de lune

A classical music piece most people will know is Claude Debussy’s Clair de Lune. I’ve always loved this piece of music, but it wasn’t until I came across this specific version played by Alexis Weissenberg that I completely fell in love with it. This is quite possibly the best version of this work out there.

What’s your favorite piece of classical music?

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