3 Perfect Songs for Classical Music Fans

While the staff at American Songwriter loves pop music, country, rap, rock, classic rock, and just about every other style of music there is in the world, part of that also means that we love classical music, too. And though we recognize that talking about classical music isn’t necessarily the hippest thing all the time, it’s worth discussing.

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We won’t burden you with epic, lengthy orchestral or symphonic performances. No three-hour sets of chamber music. Instead, we highlight three individual songs that are simply perfect.

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1. “Moonlight Sonata,” Ludwig van Beethoven

Completed in 1801, this is one of the most beautiful pieces of music on Earth. It’s also deceptively complicated. Played evenly, almost like a metronome, the piano notes unfurl as if programmed like a machine. But if you listen in and follow the chord changes, the timing changes, and more, you’ll quickly see it’s a masterpiece in subtlety.

2. “Confutatis Maledictis,” Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Fans of the excellent movie Amadeus may remember the scene: Mozart in bed, sick, with his secret tormentor taking down notes of this song in all its heft and depth. Mozart doesn’t know the person by his side has worked to kill him. Doesn’t know that he is desperate to feel Mozart’s power. And while the movie may not be historically accurate, this song remains a force. It’s from Mozart’s 1791 unfinished funeral music known as the Requiem.

3. “Flight of the Bumble Bee,” Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov

This song, completed in 1900, seems almost too intricate to play, yet some are still able to by seeming divine intervention. The string-centered work, which can also be played on the piano and was featured in the lovely movie Shine, sounds just like a little yellow-and-black bumble bee buzzing around on a hot day from flower to flower.

(Photo by Rischgitz/Getty Images)

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