is a continuation of the article: Choosing the right classical
music (Part 1) which you can read here.
In part one of this series we looked at a list of 10 Bombastic classical
pieces. Those huge, thunderous anthems that would sound great as an accompaniment
to epic visuals & graphics or deep sonorous voice overs.
But the beauty of classical music is that it is rich in dynamism. One
moment loud & boisterous, the next wistful & melancholic. In part
two we’re looking into the sensitive side of classical music with
a list of 10 breath takingly beautiful pieces of classical music.
Part two: Beautiful Classical Pieces
So here’s a list of 10 stunners from the classical canon. Usages
could include film and documentary scenes such as panning shots of natural
beauty, moments of reflection, falling in love…Romantic visuals
that would benefit from a touch of sheer understated class.
10. The Four Seasons (spring) – Vivaldi
Fresh & flowery, The Four Seasons is Vivaldi’s series of Baroque
violin concertos inspired by the 18th Century Italian countryside. Vivaldi’s
music has a high note count with plenty of gushing detail & colour
and of all the Season’s, ‘Spring’ is over brimming with
flamboyant Baroque fruitiness.
9. Flower Duet – Lakme
Highjacked (pardon the expression) by British Airways for a series of
TV ads, ‘Flower Duet’ is a magnificent operatic aria performed
by two female sopranos. The operatic voices bob and weave through a magical
garden of soaring cellos & assorted strings like two beautiful swans.
Tasteful, graceful, stylish and elegant.
8. Piano Sonata No. 14 in C Sharp Minor – Beethoven
Recognizable from a plethora of usages in contemporary film and TV, Piano
Sonata No. 14 (AKA The Moonlight Sonata) takes you on a lilting journey
with its ever shifting succession of solo piano chords. One moment somber
and sincere the next enchanting and elegant, and as one of Beethoven’s
most beautiful pieces, is more than worthy of a place in our list.
7. Peer Gynt (morning) – Edvard Grieg
Imbued with a sense of fresh optimism this dynamic aria builds from a
fluttering flute into a euphoric orchestra as daybreak bursts through
the morning mist. A Norwegian composer, Grieg even lived long enough to
hear some of his compositions immortalized on record.
6. Messiah Halleluiah Chorus – Händel
In our lists of both bombastic and beautiful classical music, this one
easily straddles both camps with its huge choirs, crashing cymbals &
divine orchestration. Another Baroque composer, Handel is considered one
of the classical elite having composed over 40 operas in the early 1800’s.
5. The Lark Ascending – Vaughn Williams
British composer Vaughn Williams’ most celebrated piece was inspired
by a poem about a skylark. And as flutes and violins spiral skyward, the
imagery of a bird in flight is synonymous with this elegant masterpiece.
Melancholic, sad & breath takingly graceful.
4. Suite for Solo Cello No. 1 in G Minor Prelude –
Known to induce feelings of tearful ecstasy and abundant joy in most
listeners, one must often contemplate…What is it about this continuous
stream of solo cello notes that moves the human soul so profoundly?
3. Nimrod – Elgar
Among Elgar’s best known compositions are the orchestral works,
Enigma Variations. Taken from that is the popular piece is Nimrod. With
its angelic wind and swelling orchestral strings it surely ranks among
one of classical music’s most compelling pieces.
2. Adagio for Strings – Barber
Radiating with angelic warmth, ‘Adagio’ tugs at the heartstrings
with apparent ease as its wash of strings climb higher and higher towards
divine absolution. Simply one of the most graceful & appealing classical
pieces ever composed, it has been used to great effect in films as diverse
and polar opposite as Platoon and The Elephant Man.
1. Ave Maria – Schubert
Yes, here we are at the top of the pile where I’m keen to point
out that these pieces are in no particular order. Although Schubert’s
Ave Maria is possibly the number one favourite when it comes to popularity.
And continued cover versions of varying quality. It’s a stunningly
sad yet uplifting operatic aria in its traditional arrangement. Although
nowadays we’re treated to less sympathetic versions by the likes
of Beyoncé & Celine Dion!
OK, so there we have it. A list of 10 beautiful classical compositions
in no particular order. And, of course, it’s all down to subjective
taste. With so much wonderful classical music, I’m sure you could
make up an infinite number of lists in the same category without including
any of the above. In fact, here are five more that might just as easily
have featured in the list.
The Swan (Le Cygne)
Sleeping Beauty op. 66
La Traviata Act 1 Prelude – Verdi
Jupiter (The Planets) – Holst
Gymnopedie No. 1 – Erik Satie
Well, here’s hoping that these lists will lead you on to finding some
less well known pieces by these wondrous composers. And that this article
will help with your decisions when choosing some beautiful classical music
for your film, documentary or presentation. Good luck!
Classical Music at shockwave-sound categorized by composer