I love classical music. It’s something that people generally find surprising in someone of my age, and someone who doesn’t play a musical instrument to any particular proficiency (I do sing, but does that really count?). Yet, I really do love it. Classical music is so beautiful, and it can evoke so many different emotions dependent on the piece, and the setting in which you are listening to it.
I was raised on an excellent diet of music from sixties rock and roll, to Motown classics, and much more besides. In terms of classical music, however, I was exposed to it both through my grandparents (who always had the radio playing at breakfast time), and my mum, who listens to Classic FM in the car. Most of the time I didn’t really pay attention to what I was listening to, but through osmosis I began to find that there were pieces I liked, loved, and wanted to hear again and again.
My appreciation for classical properly developed when I did my undergraduate and masters degrees. When writing for long periods of time I can’t listen to music with lyrics. I find it too distracting (opera notwithstanding). I have to have something where I can just let it wash over me – a background noise I can enjoy, that will block out other distractions, but without being intrusive to my thought processes. I genuinely don’t think I could have written either of my dissertations without the help of my classical music playlists to keep me focused.
So, without further ado, I have listed below twelve of my favourite pieces of classical music. Some of them are film scores, others are well known pieces. They’re all quite “popular” pieces, so if you’re new to classical music, these might be a fairly easy way of checking some famous composers out and seeing if you could like their work. Also, looking at this list, I’ve noticed that I seem to have a thing for Russian composers. There’s even a tiny bit of opera in there (Verdi), something which I didn’t think I would like at all, but on Spotify this was one of my most played pieces from 2017 – so there you go!
Twelve of my most-adored Classical Favourites:
- The Anvil Chorus – Giuseppe Verdi
- For The Love Of A Princess (From “Braveheart”) – James Horner
- Festive Overture – Dmitri Shostakovich
- Tritsch-Tratsch-Polka – Johann Strauss II
- Radetzky-Marsch – Johann Strauss I
- Scheherazade, Op. 35: The Young Prince and the Young Princess – Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
- In the Steppes of Central Asia – Alexander Borodin
- Violin Concerto BWV 1042 in E Major – Johann Sebastian Bach
- Gayaneh: Sabre Dance – Aram Khachaturian
- Romeo and Juliet, Op. 64 – Act 1: Dance of The Knights – Sergei Prokofiev
- 1812 Overture – Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
- Dances with Wolves; John Dunbar Theme – John Barry
Do you have any favourite classical pieces? Did you have a listen to any that were on this list – what do you think, did you like them? Let me in the comments below!