Ten Classical Music Favorites (from the Musea Vaults

TEN CLASSICAL PIECES (to get you started) – Hey, this stuff won’t appreciate itself!
Here is an introduction to the beauties of classical music. You may not think you like classical music, but you’ll probably love almost all of these. Most people do.

1. BACH: Toccata and Fugue in D Minor for Organ. This is haunted house music at its best, and no one has surpassed it for chills in the 300 years since it was composed. Booo!

2. BEETHOVEN: Two choices (among a plethora): For romantics start with the first movement of the Moonlight Sonata. For the rest its the best symphony of all the Symphony #9 in D Minor with the Ode to Joy finale. Music at the highest level, period! Those who know it can add their own novel of praise here.

3. CHOPIN: The Minute Waltz. The best composer for piano has a fast trilling piece with a ‘deep lilt’ to it. Once hooked, listen to his nocturnes, etudes, and preludes, oh my!

4. DEBUSSY: Claire de Lune. Heavenly music – moon inspired.

5.GERSHWIN: Rhapsody in Blue. What’s this – classical AND jazz from a pop song composer? It’s the cat’s meow!

6. MENDELSSOHN: Incidental music for a Midsummer Night’s Dream. Bubbling magic in assorted themes – and the overture written at 17!

7. MOZART: Variations on a French Theme. The title sounds snooty but what it is is variations on the theme Twinkle Twinkle Little Star- an enchanting genuis at work here. (And for the more serious among us try Symphony #40 in G Minor K. 550. The opening has a real kick to it.)

8. SCHUBERT: The Unfinished Symphony #8. Lost then found again by a conductor on the prowl for missing manuscripts, this bit of music has been called the ‘greatest fragment in music. Symphony music of stark beauty by a composer who died too too young.

9. JOHANN STRAUSS: The Blue Danube Waltz. Ballroom waltzing music that takes you straight to turn of the century Vienna – perhaps classical music’s best ‘bandleader’ – even among a family of them.

10. TCHAIKOVSKY: The Nutcracker Suite. A Christmas favorite and perhaps the most beautiful and melodic of all ballets – Watch for the Sugar Plum Fairies!

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