March 19, 2020
Today is the first day of spring! Whether or not the weather is cooperating, we are ready for it, counting the days when we can put our parkas into the backs of our closets. Musically, we’re ready to shed the heavier, meatier works by the likes of Brahms and Rachmaninoff, and wanting to hear music that is lighter and fresher. Here, in no particular order, is the Top 10 Classical Works for Spring. Some are well-known, others, less so. What do you think of this list?
1) Vivaldi – Spring from Four Seasons
2) Vaughan Williams – The Lark Ascending
3) Beethoven: Pastoral Symphony – 1st movement
There’ll be lots more Beethoven coming up as this is the 250th anniversary of his birth.
4) Mendelssohn: Spring Song
You’ve heard this before. Here’s a lovely version of this piece for strings.
5) Delibes – Flower Duet
6) Tchaikovsky – Waltz of the Flowers
This is from The Nutcracker, which is a Christmas ballet. However, this lush waltz about flowers can work for spring, too.
7) Smetana – The Moldau
This starts out very quietly – so don’t turn your volume up too loud.
8) Schumann – The Spring Symphony (No. 1, 1st movement)
Exuberant season, exuberant conductor, Leonard Bernstein.
9) Dvorak – Spring Song
Dvorak wrote a piano piece called Spring Song. I had no idea it existed!
10) Jonathan Harvey – Bird Concerto with Pianosong
Here’s a modern take on spring, performed by Hideki Nagano.