A Neophytes Guide To Classical and Opera Music

This post is a way to document and share those classical pieces that I personally enjoy both for my own reference and to hopefully share my enjoyment with you dear reader. Classical music is largely uncharted insofar as my harmonic ventures extend. Expect not great depth, nor originality, for this list was assembled by someone who has never been to a performance, doesn’t have a clue who the conductor or soloists are, and can’t tell you what key a given piece is in.

Note that to make use of the links in this article one must have Spotify installed. I chose to use Spotify links here because I believe that people who produce a work should be paid for it, and I can’t presume that is the case for each and every YouTube video out there. As a final point of minutia, I’m not including movement numbers because the links are to the movements I know or like.

There is no more fitting place to begin than with my own introduction to the genre in the form of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. While the entire score is awesome, I’ve only linked to the bits I like the most.

Vivaldi’s Four Seasons:

  • Summer (Probably better known to New Zealand reader as “The song on the National Bank ads”)
  • Autumn (My personal favorite – I have literally listened to this all night while programming)
  • Swedish Rhapsody (The song that plays in my head when I think of a Unicorn prancing through a meadow in an enchanted forest)
  • Ride of the Valkyries (or…kill the rabbit!, kill the rabbit!)
  • Prince of Denmark’s March (because it’s awesome. Also, who doesn’t want to be reminded  of Antiques Roadshow)
  • La Donna È Mobile (I don’t care what the words actually are, in my head he will forever be singing “I NEED PANTS YA!”)

I hope you found something you enjoyed. There are far more I could link to but sadly my time for writing rapidly comes to an end. If you can think of anything that should be on this list, comment and I’ll give it a listen.


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