Wednesday, January 27, 2016

5 Pieces of Classical Music You Should Try

Classical music has a bad rep.
Most people find it boring and prefer pop or something they can sing along to
1)It's not boring, it's just long
2)I have definitely sung along to classical music before...just sayin
I find that while doing homework, I can only listen to classical--lyrics distract me. It's calming, it's inspiring, it's timeless. 
You may be someone who swears they hate classical music, but I've compiled at least 5 pieces that I think everyone should at least try:
If you noticed, the background picture from this is from Fantasia, and that's where I heard this for the first time. For most of my childhood, I knew this as the "Pegasus song from Fantasia". The 2 Fantasia movies are where I was first exposed to classical music--if you find yourself unable to just listen to a 30 minute song, I definitely suggest watching them. Because there's something to look at, a story is being told, the viewer is more engaged and less likely to be bored. 
Anyway, this is a masterpiece. It truly does evoke images of a field or a meadow. It's beautiful and lyrical and I just really love listening to it. 

You will 100% recognize at least one of these. Popularized sometime in the 1950s, this 4-movement work tells a story of 2 violent and extreme seasons, and 2 seasons of serenity and frivolity. I've now seen this live twice, and I really do love it. The concert master at the BSO (the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra) truly does the solos justice.
This is a great piece to listen to if you're really new to classical music because you'll know the tune of at least one of the seasons and knowing the tune makes it much easier to stomach.

This is the first classical piece that I truly got into.
A few years ago, my parents dragged my brother and I to the BSO to see satellite images of each of the planets accompanying their respective movements. It was fantastic and I found myself really getting into the piece, especially the Mars and Jupiter movements.  Mars is very Star Wars-y, see if you can identify what the Imperial March echoes. 
Today, it's definitely one of my favorite pieces.

Another piece I was exposed to via Fantasia, I had forgotten about it until we sight-read an arrangement of the 4th movement last year in Wind Ensemble and I was like "Oh my gosh! This is the flying whale song!!!"
For any of you who have seen Fantasia 2000, you know exactly what I'm talking about. If not, you probably think I'm insane but that's ok.
It's quite a majestic piece, but I would suggest the 1st and 4th movements...the 2nd and 3rd movements are very very slow and quiet and I prefer the faster moving portions, but this piece has something for everybody.

Another piece I saw live before I really appreciated it, this symphony took me a while to get into, but I'm glad I did. It's truly majestic and you can totally feel the "from the new world" vibe. This has become one of my favorite symphonies and my dad, someone I consider to be more of a classical connoisseur than myself, also placed this in his top 5 most important classical pieces list.
Give it a try!

Do you have any favorite pieces that I've missed?

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