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16 Amazing Classical Music Compositions That Will Inspire You

16 Amazing Classical Music Compositions That Will Inspire You

Classical music has a remarkable capacity to inspire. It can lift your mood in an instant (making it an effective anti-depressant), assist you in your work, and provide the soundtrack to your life. It is also more accessible than ever before thanks to the Music Animation Machine—the work of Stephen Malinowski. Through this, we can now observe, in vivid detail, what happens in some of the finest masterpieces ever composed.

Making the videos you see below requires entering a score of music into notation software, and synchronizing it to the recording. The music has to be adjusted to the score as a performer can often add, change, or miss notes. Animation is then designed for the video, before rendering and assembly occurs in a video editing program. The audio, titles, and credits are subsequently added and the video is uploaded online (for a detailed look at the process see this diagram). Whilst I can report this in a succinct paragraph, each video takes a great deal of time to construct.

You can visit Stephen Malinowski’s YouTube channel, smalin, for an extensive range of animated music.

1. Chopin’s Nocturne in E-flat Major, Opus 9, No. 2

Frédéric Chopin (1810–1849) was a Polish composer famed for his emotive piano compositions. He spent much of his life in Paris, but snubbed a celebrity lifestyle in favor of relative solitude. He rarely performed in public, preferring intimate performances in his flat.

2. Beethoven’s Symphony 7, Allegretto, 2nd movement

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4uOxOgm5jQ4

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Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827) remains one of the finest composers in history. Famously, his hearing began to deteriorate circa 1800, and much of his later work was created despite being deaf.

3. Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata, 1st movement

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oFSRs7iqAv8

Also known as Piano Sonata No. 14 in C-sharp minor “Quasi una fantasia,” this piece was completed in 1801. This is the famous first movement.

4. Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 21, Andante (“Elvira Madigan”)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rKZr3ExeXUc

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s (1756–1791) startling genius saw him compose over 600 pieces. A virtuoso performer, he had concertos and operas on the go before he was 10, and died mysteriously at only 35.

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5. Vivaldi’s Winter, Four Seasons (Allegro)

Antonio Vivaldi (1678–1741) was a Baroque composer famed for his violin skills. He’s perhaps best known for The Four Seasons, composed in 1723. This is the fourth concerto of the set—Winter.

6. Pachelbel’s Canon in D

Johann Pachelbel (1653–1706) was a German Baroque composer. Unfortunately, much of his work has been lost, and this piece lay forgotten for hundreds of years. It was re-published in 1919 and has since become a much celebrated work.

7. Bach’s Air (“on the G string”, string orchestra)

This is August Wilhelmj’s arrangement of Bach’s Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D major. The original piece was finished circa 1720, with Wilhelmj adapting the second movement in the late 19th century.

8. Bach’s Preludio, Partita in E Major, Lara St. John, solo violin

Bach’s compositions are renowned for their emotional intensity. As a consequence, his work is highly regarded in cultural circles for its artistic depth.

9. Bach’s Cello Suite No. 1, 1st movement

Bach’s music gained popularity after a revival during the 19th century. He remains one of the major names associated with great composers.

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10. Schubert’s Piano Trio in E-flat major, 2nd movement

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKZBmMu06Fg

Franz Schubert (1797–1828) was an Austrian composer. He lived to only 32, but still composed 600 Lieder, ten symphonies, operas, chamber music, and much more. Despite his prolific nature, he was unappreciated during his era. He’s now considered an all-time great.

11. Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto, 1st movement, E Minor, Opus 64

Felix Mendelssohn (1809–1847) was a German composer during the Romantic period. He helped re-popularize Bach’s music during his time.

12. Mendelssohn’s String Quartet No. 2, 3rd movement, Intermezzo

Mendelssohn’s extensive body of work includes symphonies, oratorios, and chamber music. As a composer, he was reassessed in the 20th century and has since become increasingly popular, having suffered restrictive anti-Semitism during his lifetime.

13. Tallis’s Spem in Alium (40-voice motet)

Thomas Tallis (1505–1585) is regarded as one of England’s finest-ever composers. Here is a mesmerizing composition from 1570—it’s for eight choirs of five voices each (soprano, alto, tenor, baritone, and bass). As it requires forty competent singers who can meet the motet’s demands, it is rarely performed.

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14. Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus from Messiah

George Friedrich Handel’s (1685–1759) famous piece has been used extensively in modern culture. The chorus is taken from Handel’s 1741 Messiah oratorio. The famous section appears in Part II of III.

15. Brahms’ String Quartet No. 1, 3rd movement, Allegro Energetico

Johannes Brahms (1833–1897) proved a hugely influential composer whose innovative music inspired a new generation.

16. Brahms, Piano Quartet in C minor, Opus 60, 3rd movement

This piano quartet was composed in 1875. Brahms’s approach to music was to keep the “purity” of famous composers such as Mozart and Beethoven, but to modernize compositions.

More by this author

Alex Morris

Content Manager, Copywriter, & Blogger

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Last Updated on January 3, 2020

The 10 Essential Habits of Positive People

The 10 Essential Habits of Positive People

Are you waiting for life events to turn out the way you want so that you can feel more positive about your life? Do you find yourself having pre-conditions to your sense of well-being, thinking that certain things must happen for you to be happier? Do you think there is no way that your life stresses can make you anything other than “stressed out” and that other people just don’t understand?  If your answer is “yes” to any of these questions, you might find yourself lingering in the land of negativity for too long!

The following are some tips to keep positive no matter what comes your way. This post will help you stop looking for what psychologists call “positivity” in all the wrong places!  Here are the ten essential habits of positive people.

1. Positive people don’t confuse quitting with letting go.

Instead of hanging on to ideas, beliefs, and even people that are no longer healthy for them, they trust their judgement to let go of negative forces in their lives.  Especially in terms of relationships, they subscribe to The Relationship Prayer which goes:

 I will grant myself the ability to trust the healthy people in my life … 

To set limits with, or let go of, the negative ones … 

And to have the wisdom to know the DIFFERENCE!

 2.  Positive people don’t just have a good day – they make a good day.

Waiting, hoping and wishing seldom have a place in the vocabulary of positive individuals. Rather, they use strong words that are pro-active and not reactive. Passivity leads to a lack of involvement, while positive people get very involved in constructing their lives. They work to make changes to feel better in tough times rather than wish their feelings away.

3. For the positive person, the past stays in the past.

Good and bad memories alike stay where they belong – in the past where they happened. They don’t spend much time pining for the good ol’ days because they are too busy making new memories now. The negative pulls from the past are used not for self-flagellation or unproductive regret, but rather productive regret where they use lessons learned as stepping stones towards a better future.

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4. Show me a positive person and I can show you a grateful person.

The most positive people are the most grateful people.  They do not focus on the potholes of their lives.  They focus on the pot of gold that awaits them every day, with new smells, sights, feelings and experiences.  They see life as a treasure chest full of wonder.

5. Rather than being stuck in their limitations, positive people are energized by their possibilities.

Optimistic people focus on what they can do, not what they can’t do.  They are not fooled to think that there is a perfect solution to every problem, and are confident that there are many solutions and possibilities.  They are not afraid to attempt new solutions to old problems, rather than spin their wheels expecting things to be different this time.  They refuse to be like Charlie Brown expecting that this time Lucy will not pull the football from him!

6. Positive people do not let their fears interfere with their lives!

Positive people have observed that those who are defined and pulled back by their fears never really truly live a full life. While proceeding with appropriate caution, they do not let fear keep them from trying new things. They realize that even failures are necessary steps for a successful life. They have confidence that they can get back up when they are knocked down by life events or their own mistakes, due to a strong belief in their personal resilience.

7. Positive people smile a lot!

When you feel positive on the inside it is like you are smiling from within, and these smiles are contagious. Furthermore, the more others are with positive people, the more they tend to smile too! They see the lightness in life, and have a sense of humor even when it is about themselves. Positive people have a high degree of self-respect, but refuse to take themselves too seriously!

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8. People who are positive are great communicators.

They realize that assertive, confident communication is the only way to connect with others in everyday life.  They avoid judgmental, angry interchanges, and do not let someone else’s blow up give them a reason to react in kind. Rather, they express themselves with tact and finesse.  They also refuse to be non-assertive and let people push them around. They refuse to own problems that belong to someone else.

9. Positive people realize that if you live long enough, there are times for great pain and sadness.

One of the most common misperceptions about positive people is that to be positive, you must always be happy. This can not be further from the truth. Anyone who has any depth at all is certainly not happy all the time.  Being sad, angry, disappointed are all essential emotions in life. How else would you ever develop empathy for others if you lived a life of denial and shallow emotions? Positive people do not run from the gamut of emotions, and accept that part of the healing process is to allow themselves to experience all types of feelings, not only the happy ones. A positive person always holds the hope that there is light at the end of the darkness.  

10. Positive person are empowered people – they refuse to blame others and are not victims in life.

Positive people seek the help and support of others who are supportive and safe.They limit interactions with those who are toxic in any manner, even if it comes to legal action and physical estrangement such as in the case of abuse. They have identified their own basic human rights, and they respect themselves too much to play the part of a victim. There is no place for holding grudges with a positive mindset. Forgiveness helps positive people become better, not bitter.

How about you?  How many habits of positive people do you personally find in yourself?  If you lack even a few of these 10 essential habits, you might find that the expected treasure at the end of the rainbow was not all that it was cracked up to be. How could it — if you keep on bringing a negative attitude around?

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I wish you well in keeping positive, because as we all know, there is certainly nothing positive about being negative!

Featured photo credit: Janaína Castelo Branco via flickr.com

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