Blog • World Music Therapy Day

March 2022

Classical Music to Relax to

We hope you enjoyed the relaxing lo-fi music recommendations in our article for World Music Therapy Day! When it comes to music for relaxation, it is hard to leave out classical music. The genre is often associated with music that lulls one to sleep, given the calming qualities of many pieces out there. While the huge repertoire of classical music encompasses a diverse spectrum of energy and emotions, here are some of the most soothing ones that will help you forget all of your stress for a moment.

Brahms – Intermezzo Op. 118 No. 2

We begin the list with this beautiful piece by Brahms which never fails to put one’s heart at ease. This is one of the last pieces written by the Romantic-era composer for the piano, and his sensibility truly shines through in this work. While the music is light and soothing, there are also moments where it turns into something heavier, and rather bittersweet.

Chopin – Nocturne Op. 27 No. 2

Chopin’s music has captured hearts for centuries and his collection of Nocturnes are some of his finest works. While the Op. 9 No. 2 might be the most well-known, this one is also a popular favourite. Nocturnes are compositions inspired by night time, which is often associated with quiet serenity. This piece in particular starts off subtly with a sweet and simple melody, yet is scattered with passionate passages. The perfect level of balance involved in Chopin’s composition of this piece never fails to leave us in awe of his musical genius.

Schumann – Kinderszenen Op. 15 No. 7 Träumerei

Träumerei, or “Dreaming”, is part of Schumann’s collection of piano works, Kinderszenen, or “Scenes of Childhood”, and one of his best known pieces. Even though Schumann himself described these short pieces as “small, droll things”, they certainly sound much more than that. Träumerei for one, sounds like a piece full of deep reflection and underlying sadness. It is a wonderful piece to remind yourself to let go of the present for a moment and reminisce about the simpler times of childhood.

Debussy – Clair de Lune

Nothing embodies tranquillity more than this beautiful piece that is the third and most famous movement of Debussy’s Suite bergamasque. Titled “Moonlight” in French, it was actually inspired by a poem of the same name by Paul Verlaine which depicts a sad and beautiful moonlight. Soft as the ripples on the surface of a peaceful lake, it will surely make you feel light and free after a long day.

Bach – Air on the G String

This meditative, sacred-sounding piece of music is popularly played at weddings, and one of the most well-known classical works out there. The slow, sustained melody just forces one to take a deep breath and enjoy the intricacies of various string parts coming together. In this rendition, Hauser presents the breathtaking melody through the warm tones of the cello, further adding to the richness of this Baroque masterpiece.

Fun fact: The famous piece actually derives from the second movement of Bach’s Orchestral Suite No. 3. It got its nickname “Air on the G string” after violinist August Wilhelm transposed the piece to C major, allowing the first violin part to be fully played on the G string alone.

Satie – Gymnopédie No. 1

This is where Satie poses a strong challenge towards Debussy for having written the most serene piece of classical music. The simplicity of this piece ensures that every note matters. The repeated pattern of the accompaniment while grounding the music creates a peaceful feeling of emptiness. It also brings focus to the haunting melody which sounds like a quiet singing voice.

Mendelssohn – Song Without Words Op. 19 No. 1 in E Major

Song Without Words is a collection of solo piano works published throughout and after Mendelssohn’s lifetime. As the title suggests, these are short lyrical pieces that sound as if they are sung, even though they are meant to be played on the piano. This one is the first of the series, and the soothing melody line just instantly transports you back to a quaint room in a little cottage. It is tinged with nostalgia and the calming sense of peace of being at home.

Arvo Pärt – Spiegel im Spiegel

This simple yet hypnotising piece describes the meaning of its title “Mirror in the Mirror” perfectly. The deep bass notes and arpeggios on the piano are reminiscent of falling water droplets. That, and the sparse notes of the violin line truly make you take the time to appreciate every single note that is played. Listening to this piece is like falling into a deep state of calm.

Always wanted to better understand and appreciate classical music? Besides being great music to listen to, the experience of playing these pieces can be truly enlightening too. Let our faculty of professional musicians at Aureus help you begin your classical music journey! Music lessons at Aureus are one-to-one and individually tailored to suit every student’s learning pace and needs. Our teachers are experts in turning music lessons into a fun and rewarding adventure for you!

Sounds like something you will enjoy? Sign up for a free trial lesson with us and experience music lessons at Aureus now!

Xin Min

Xin Min is a content writer at Aureus Group with a passion for all things related to music and the arts. Being in touch with music from a young age, she has grown to enjoy a wide range of musical genres from classical to jazz and musical theatre, and hopes to share the endless charms of music through her writing. When she is not busy typing away in front of a screen, she can be found running her fingers across her piano keys.