Other classical music I might like
September 5, 2013 4:24 AM   Subscribe

Please help me select my next classical music for work.

I work in a busy office and have had trouble concentrating, so I've been listening to music. I find that it must be instrumental. The best music for helping me concentrate, historically, has been the Brandenburg concertos. I find the tempo sort of invigorating, and it’s familiar enough that it doesn't demand my attention. And I also really like Mozart, but am very uneducated about classical music. I would like your help as a shortcut to finding something I love.

What should I listen to today?
posted by theredpen to Media & Arts (11 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
You could try the Well-tempered Clavier (Bach), which is 3 books of preludes and fugues for keyboard. There's one of each written for every key, and the moods and tempi vary greatly from one to the next. Glenn Gould did a famous recording of it as did Angela Hewitt (as far as Canadian recordings go).
posted by winterportage at 4:29 AM on September 5, 2013

You could go with Beethoven's 5th (duh-duh-duh-DUH!) and 9th (the final movement is the Ode to Joy). You say you're uneducated about classical music, but you've probably heard these before as they are commonly used in media, so they won't demand much attention, but at the same time are really beautiful and invigorating pieces of music.

Source: I like listening to classical music in the workplace too.
posted by Ziggy500 at 4:42 AM on September 5, 2013

Haydn's 104 symphonies

Mozart's 27 piano concertos

Schubert's Symphonies #1, 2, 3, and 5

Vivaldi's Four Seasons

Corelli's Concerti Grossi (you might recognize #8, the "Christmas" concerto)

Brahms's Serenades
posted by John Cohen at 5:03 AM on September 5, 2013

Much of Handel's big-ensemble stuff-- concerti grossi (singular= concerto grosso, if you're typing it into a search engine), Water Music, Fireworks Music-- has the same expansive feel and intermittently lively tempo as the Brandenburgs. And in general, if you're looking for toe-tapping concentration music, you can't go wrong with a good Baroque concerto grosso-- try Corelli, Telemann, Albinoni, etc.
posted by Bardolph at 5:22 AM on September 5, 2013 [2 favorites]

N'thing Baroque music: Bach, Vivaldi, etc. Especially Bach, who luckily has a huge canon. Something about the logical, almost mathematical style is very conducive to thinking about work.
posted by Quietgal at 6:39 AM on September 5, 2013

To supplement Bardolph's recommendations, I like Mozart's Haydn Quartets and Pietro Locatelli's work.

The music of the romantic period is too slow and soft for me to work to.
posted by vincele at 7:00 AM on September 5, 2013 [1 favorite]

I agree with the suggestions above about Baroque music, and the composers Corelli, Telemann, and Albinoni. I had a Baroque collection cassette (yes, that long ago) containing all those guys, which I loved.

In addition, my other favorite Baroque collection is the soundtrack to the movie Kramer vs Kramer.

One more: Mozart's Flute Concerto #1 in G.
posted by CathyG at 8:25 AM on September 5, 2013

Try a collection of Strauss waltzes.

To branch out of the Baroque and Classical a bit (capital-C Classical is an era/subgenre of small-c classical), try Smetana's Moldau. It has some slow bits but most of it has a nice sense of movement. Also, Bernstein's overture to Candide is delightful and propulsive.

Copeland's El Salon Mexico and Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue and An American in Paris move along pretty nicely too. Again, these are not Baroque or Classical, but they are accessible and should have some themes you will find familiar.

Pretty much any Rossini overture will be upbeat and lively. I especially love the William Tell overture. It's most famous for being the source of the Lone Ranger radio/tv theme, but there are many other well-known themes in that overture. Anyone who watched J.P. Patches as a kid will hear something they recognize in there.

Haydn's Cello Concerto in C Major is wonderful. I especially love Steven Isserlis's recording of that. Stay away from the Jaqueline DuPre recording unless you want to hear someone trying to saw a cello in half with her bow.

You might also like some of the movements of The Planets by Gustav Holst.

Schubert's Trout Quintet is delightful and mostly uptempo, and you might recognize some of the melodies.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 8:50 AM on September 5, 2013

Came in to recommend the Mozart string quartets, of which there are many.
posted by drlith at 8:51 AM on September 5, 2013

Response by poster: Thank you, everyone!
posted by theredpen at 4:55 PM on September 5, 2013

Can you stream audio from the Internet? Australian broadcaster ABC has a radio station 'Classic FM', which you can listen to at www.abc.net.au/classic/listen
posted by Tzarius at 10:10 PM on September 7, 2013

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