Advice sought for Classical music to listen to when studying
January 2, 2013 12:55 PM   Subscribe

Advice sought for upbeat Classical music to listen to when studying. I seem to really enjoy the violin and the cello. I like some of Yo-Yo Ma and the Red Violin soundtrack. But, I do not like the classical music that is depressing and too slow -like some of the baroque. I am looking for the type of classical music one would hear in ballet. The kind that inspires and lifts you up, and makes you happy...that is simply beautiful. Do you know what I mean Hive Mind? Thanks!! So please give me a playlist
posted by TRUELOTUS to Media & Arts (18 answers total) 27 users marked this as a favorite
Do you already have the Yo Yo Ma version of the Bach Unaccompanied Cello Suites? There are some slow movements, but they are really lively overall, without making me anxious (I love the Shostakovich cello concertos, but they aren't relaxing).

Vivaldi, in general, might also be a good start - he has some pretty cello and violin concertos, too. Pretty much anything like a concerto will have some slower movements, but I think you'll find they're pretty short, and that you can skip them if need be.
posted by ldthomps at 1:11 PM on January 2, 2013

The Handel Organ Concerti
The Mozart Horn Concerti
posted by Jahaza at 1:15 PM on January 2, 2013

It's hard to go wrong with Bach's Brandenberg Concerti, which also have some slower movements - but the slow movements (IMO) are lovely segues between the faster ones.
posted by usonian at 1:16 PM on January 2, 2013 [3 favorites]

Well, if you're looking for the kind of music you might hear in a ballet, you can certainly listen to ballets! Based on your description, I would recommend ballets from the late romantic period to the mid-20th century - try Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet, Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake, Stravinsky's Petrushka, Debussy's Jeux, Milhaud's Creation of the World.

If you like violin and cello, check out some concertos from the same era - Sibelius's Violin Concerto, Shostakovich's Cello Concerto, Berg's Violin Concerto, John Tavener's The Protecting Veil (great recording by Yo-Yo Ma), Barber's Violin Concerto.
posted by Lutoslawski at 1:24 PM on January 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

Beethoven Violin Concerto, 3rd movement
Vaughan Williams - Lark Ascending
Pablo de Sarasate - "Allegro Molto Vivace" from Zigeunerweisen (ain't gonna get much peppier than this)

As an oboist, my favs to play:

Mozart oboe quartet (this is actually an oboe + strings, not 4 oboes. god, no) - 1st and last movements
Poulenc - trio for oboe, bassoon, and piano - last movement (give it a min, then it rips)
posted by Wossname at 1:30 PM on January 2, 2013

Came in to suggest the Brandenburg Concerti, which I see has already been done. We sent those to my grandmother years ago when she asked for classical music that wasn't depressing, and she liked them very much.
posted by dlugoczaj at 1:31 PM on January 2, 2013

They're not cello or violin, but Chopin's waltzes are very pleasant to listen to. I've been using them as study/writing music for a little while now. Here's a Spotify link if you've got it, or else just search on Youtube for some good examples.

Elgar's Cello Concerto is also very upbeat (well, bombastic, which I guess is similar), but it's much more complex and sprawling than some of the stuff you mentioned. It certainly makes me happy, though!
posted by anaximander at 1:43 PM on January 2, 2013

No whole albums come to mind, but here are a few tracks I find to be quite uplifting:

"Act II Panorama" in Sleeping Beauty

"Gagliarda" from Ancient Airs and Dances

"Grande Valse" from Raymonda
posted by Anima Mundi at 1:58 PM on January 2, 2013

CPE Bach is your huckleberry! He wrote a bunch of cheerful music for the cello and viola da gamba (a sort of quasi-cello).
posted by orrnyereg at 3:12 PM on January 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

I love Milhauds bull on the roof for upbeat classical study music
posted by dpx.mfx at 3:34 PM on January 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

I love Milhauds bull on the roof for upbeat classical study music

Yeah, I should say that, more broadly, Milhaud was one of these composers really interested in integrating classical music and popular music (mostly jazz), so a lot of his stuff sounds pretty "uplifting" and has less of the Wagner-overwroughtness that might depress you. Similar composers in the happy Milhaud vein might be Gershwin (esp. Rhapsody in Blue), Bernstein (Prelude, Fugue and Riffs, Symphonic Dances from West Side Story), Copland (Appalachian Spring, Rodeo), William Grant Still, Janacek, etc.
posted by Lutoslawski at 3:52 PM on January 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

I can't help but suggest some of my favorite music: chamber music. I know you won't hear it at the ballet, but the early beethoven quartets are lovely as a whole. You also just can't beat the Mendelssohn Octet for perky. Other suggestions: Schubert's Trout quintet, Dvorak's American quartet. They all will get me dancing around the house and wiggling my butt in glee.

I also second Stravinsky's Petrushka and Copland's Appalacian Spring/ Rodeo. And maybe Dvorak's New World Symphony too?

Try it all out on the you-tubulator, see if you like it :)
posted by k8oglyph at 4:20 PM on January 2, 2013

Seconding Vivaldi.
posted by flabdablet at 5:02 PM on January 2, 2013

Here are some odds and ends:

Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto

Bach Partita No.3

Valse Scherzo by Tchaikovsky

Not exactly upbeat, but Elgar Cello Concerto

Elgar - Nimrod from Enigma Variations Happy and uplifting!

Tchaikovsky Serenade for Strings Also uplifting! And happy!

And Borodin Polovtsian Dances Wild card! (By turns happy and not happy at all!)
posted by mermily at 5:24 PM on January 2, 2013

Songza has an 'Energetic Classical' playlist that might be of interest to you!
posted by dubusadus at 7:26 PM on January 2, 2013

Angèle Dubeault & La Pieta (choose English in the sidebar if the website shows up in it's original French, then in the Discography tab you can actually go and listen to each album).

I promise you won't sleep on Infernal Violins, Video Game Music (title slef-explanatory) and probably not on A Time For Us (music from great movies). Those are the three albums I own but her stuff is always great!

Catherine Lara is also a pretty great violionist though some of her stuff can be a little more contemplative. Here is my favorite song of hers (it gets more upbeat after the intro past the 1min mark) and another, cheerier one: Yoponomo,

Also, if you feel daring, Apocalyptica play instrumental (cello) renditions of rock and metal music - they got known for their remakes of Metallica hits but they do original tunes and all sort of good stuff (they made a rendition of Hall of the Mountain King that will make you fall out of your chair-I heartily recommend if you really need something energetic to wake yourself up, hahahah.)
posted by CelebrenIthil at 8:16 PM on January 2, 2013

Villa-Lobos, particularly the Choros and Bachianas Brasileiras.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 5:33 AM on January 3, 2013

In case you haven't listened to Yo-Yo Ma's Classic Yo-Yo, there are some very upbeat songs on there. A couple of them make me want to tango everytime I hear them!
posted by stampsgal at 8:43 AM on January 3, 2013

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