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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

Content Manager, Copywriter, & Blogger

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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