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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.

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Alex Morris

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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