My Favorite Pieces of Classical Music: Part 2

I am now going to talk about some more of my favorite pieces of classical music.


This was a piece that I was introduced to last spring semester when I took a music appreciation class.  It is called The Moldau.  It was composed by the Czech composer Bedrich Smetana.  It is a symphonic poem or tone poem and is a musical depiction of the Moldau River in what is now the Czech Republic and all the things, normal and fantastical, that happen there.  I love the melodies of this piece.  They really create a sense of a river, and all that one can imagine happening there.  My favorite section is middle part that is very fast and dance-able.  It depicts wedding dance and I like to imagine people dressed in traditional Czech clothing and doing a folk dance to it.

Second is Morning Mood by the Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg.  It was originally written as the score for Henrik Ibsen’s play Peer Gynt.  Grieg would later take eight movements from his score and assemble them into two separate suites.  This piece was invluded.  I love it because it is so rich and calming, and true to its name, it does depict the morning .  It is calm and relaxing and can possibly be used to help oneself relax and wake up in the morning and get on with one’s day.  I feel like I am in heaven when I hear and listen to the melodies, and the richness of the orchestra.

Third is another piece that I discovered in my music appreciation class.  It is the Mazurka in B-Flat minor Op. 24 No 4  by Frederic Chopin.   It’s enjoyable to me because of it’s melodies and how the song’s speed goes up and goes down; it uses a musical technique called tempo rubato where a musical piece, while being played .  Also, the mood changes from sadness to high energy and excitement and slows down to sadness again.  This piece was not meant to musically depict a specific story, object, or so on but I wonder if Chopin was trying to musically depict a contextless emotion that goes up and down.

Next, is January: At the Fireside.  It was composed by Tchaikovsky as part of a cycle of pieces that each musically depict a month of the year.  That cycle was called The Seasons.  It has a mysterious, soothing quality.  Also, it feels just like it’s title, or at least like being in warm place during the cold winter.  It was originally written for piano, but has also been arranged for orchestra.

Next, is one of the rare classical pieces written by a woman.  This is September at the River by Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel, the siter of Felix Mendelssohn.  She wrote a cycle called Das Jahr (The Year), which depicted the months of the year.  I first heard this in my music appreciation class, and I fell in love with its ethereal quality and it’s evocation (in my mind) of the nighttime.

Finally is Les barricades mistérieuses (the mysterious barricades) by Francois Couperin.  This piece uses the the harpsichord, a precursor to the piano.  With fast melodies and a joyful disposition, it is so fun to listen to.  It peps me up.  I feel energized and get the desire to move whenever I hear it.




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