Ten Best Classical Pieces Of All Time
As I compiled this list in my head, I found that I couldn’t possibly put them in order. It was difficult enough picking just ten of my favourites. I have ignored opera and choral pieces for this list; I’ll do them another time. Heaven forbid including them all - you would probably be reading ‘Fifty Best Classical Pieces Of All Time.’ Don’t expect expert or professional commentaries. I just listen to some classical, I am clueless about musical composition.
So here are ten of my favourite pieces, in no possible order:
Symphony #7 – 2nd Movement – Allegretto by Ludwig Van Beethoven
Beethoven probably has the most famous Symphonies under his belt, (I’m thinking of his fifth and ninth here, of which I want to bash the fifth to death with a cricket bat) but this is my favourite, and the 2nd Movement from his 7th is dark, broody, mysterious and melancholic but with dashes of light and hope seeping through. I might be using the adjective ‘beautiful’ a few too many time during this list, but I’m going to first use it here. Me love.
Moonlight Sonata by Ludwig Van Beethoven
Sometimes music can’t be given any words. I think this is one of them. Only a tortured soul could compose this tragic suicidal piece of music. I imagine if you’re depressed this piece will make you feel that what you are feeling is rather exquisite. That’s one way of making light of your dark lonely existence.
Canon in D Major by Johann Pachelbel
Let’s get away from the depressing stuff onto some light hearted happiness. My heart swells everytime I hear this piece, and it never gets tired as it is so adaptable. It reminds me of spring time, animals prancing across fields, and buttercups, sunshine, white fluffy clouds and so on. There are many arrangements of this piece but I have picked an orchestral one for you. I’ll relunctantly admit that Katherine Jenkins has a lovely arrangement of this on her Serenade album.
Air on a G String by Johann Sebastian Bach
Sticking with the Baroque period comes ‘Air on a G String’. I think it has the same atmosphere and optimism as Canon for the orchestra, though some melancholy interpretations have come out of it (Sarah Chang, for example). It’s melodic and hummable and stays in your head forever. And ever. Yays.
Requiem – Lacrimosa by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Yes. Let’s go back to “I-Want-To-Slash-My-Wrists” kind of music, or even more accurate: ‘I-Just-Slashed-My-Wrists” kind of music. And I’m mildly aware that this kind of counts as choral but… meh. Like Moonlight Sonata, I think this piece is simply too big to write about. It’s bigger than me, it’s bigger than the human race. It’s just awesomeness in a Grim Reaper kind of way. Just as well really, he did compose this as he lay dying. Or so legend has it. Or something. This piece is death itself. This is what death sounds like. Listen only if you’re healthy and you’re sure nobody with an axe is standing behind you.
The Nutcracker: Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy by Pyotr Il’yich Tchaikovsky
MAGNIFICENT. I use this as a human scale. The less somebody likes this music, the less human they are. True story. Let’s ignore that it’s for a ballet, as I don’t like ballet, I don’t understand ballet; some people in tights repeat the same three moves in different variations for a very, very, very long time. It eludes me. Ah, but the Sugar Plum Fairy, it’s all magical, christmassy and, err… fairy like. I leave you with this girl that spins fifty times in two minutes. Enjoy.
The Nutcracker: Chinese Dance (Tea) by Pyotr Il’yich Tchaikovsky
I blame Disney. The lines are blurred. Do I truly love this piece or is it because it reminds me of Chinese looking dancing mushrooms that I watched approximately two hundred times in my childhood? I don’t know. All I know is that it makes me smile. You may watch what I was brainwashed with as a child. Thanks, Mum.
1812 Overture by Pyotr Il’yich Tchaikovsky
Epicness. I want my own fucking cannon. Who wouldn’t want their own cannon after hearing this? I’ll use it on the Big Brother House, it will be awesome. I’ll blow that shit up to this music like V did for the Houses of Parliament. You know it makes sense! It’s like, twenty minutes long, but I’ve found the finale part for you. Because I’m that sort of person.
Gymnopedie No. 1 by Erik Satie
If I were doing this list in order, this would be somewhere near the top of the list, or perhaps the top. It struck me the very first time I heard it, and that was when I was fifteen (I liked Backstreet Boys back then). I only heard it the once, and since I did not know the title or composer, I didn’t find it again until much later on, like, seven years on; but I recognised it instantly when I heard it again. I will never let it out of my hearing again. Not ever. It makes me well up and stuff. <3
II Lento E Largo – Transquillissimo – Symphony No. 3 by Henryk Gorecki
I only discovered this piece in mid-2008. I just had one of my classical compilations CDs playing in the background, but when this came on, I stopped everything I was doing. It’s more commonly known as the Symphony of Sorrowful Songs and was composed in memory of the victims of the Holocaust and the general tragedy of World War II. You can trust that it lives up to its name.