Today, I will share pieces that I discovered from the fifth volume of the Victoria’s Secret Classics by Request album that my mom owned on cassette tape.
First, is the Intermezzo from the Cavalleria rusticana by Pietro Mascgani. Slow, airy, romantic, it makes the listener feel relaxed and as if they are lying on clouds floating throughout the sky.
Next, is the Minuet String Quintet in E Major by Luigi Boccherini. You may be familiar with this piece. It’s often associated with stuffy high society situations. But when it is listened outside of that situation, it can be enjoyed for the slow, airy, and romantic qualities of so many other pieces.
Third, is Handel’s Symphonie Pastorale from The Messiah. It has what tends to be my favorite traits in classical music: lightness, airiness, but above all, a smooth and calm melody.
Fourth is Haydn’s String Quartet in F, Op. 3 No. 2 (Note: most music scholars nowadays tend to be believe that it was written by Romanus Hoffstetter). This album seems to have a theme of pieces that are short, light, airy, and sweet. To that end, the music takes the listener on a journey that is calm and relaxing.
Fifth is Mendelssohn’s Nocturne from A Midsummer’s Night Dream. This piece has an interesting quality to it. Continuing with the album’s theme of slow and calm pieces, it achieves those feelings with its instrumentation and melodies.
Sixth, is Bach’s Chorale from his Little Suite. It has a somber mood. It sounds like it would be suitable for a funeral. It seems to express the emotion of mourning.
Seventh is Grieg’s Sarabande from his Holberg Suite Op. 40. Moody and romantic-sounding, I remember how much I was entranced by this piece as a pre-teen boy, and the images of beautiful abstract colors going through my mind.
Eighth is the Dance of the Little Swans from Tchaikovksy’s Swan Lake. Fast, elegant, and delicate, it’s not hard to understand why the ballet is very popular even today.
Ninth is the Andante movement from Mendelssohnn’s Fifth Symphony. Another ominous and dark piece. But the mood is perfectly set. Very deep and introspective.
Tenth is the Interlude from Act I of Gaetano Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor. I can’t seem to find the interlude as it is presented on the album. So instead, I will share videos of the full performance of the opera.
Eleventh is the Adagio Movement from Mozart‘s Clarinet Concerto. This is interesting because most concertos tend to be piano concertos or violin concertos. This piece is a favorite of mine because it is slow and sweet.
Twelfth is Bach’s Sleepers Awake. This is one of the many church cantatas Bach wrote. It has a calming sound to it, and to that end, it’s a nice way to end this album.