Instrumental music has the uncanny ability to express what cannot be translated into words. With the rise and fall of each melodic note, emotions are evoked, hearts quicken and thoughts are stirred. A great song can set a soul ablaze with inspiration.
Arguably, some of the most beautiful and provocative pieces of music are those with no words at all. From the Classical movement to modern day composers, their brand of beauty, elegance and skill is one that remains in favor. With brilliant composers such as Mozart, Bach, Vivaldi and more, it is easy to see (and hear!) why these names and compositions have remained beloved for centuries. Read on for a complete analysis of some of the most soul shaking pieces of Instrumental Music.
Bach’s ‘Cello Suite No. 1’
Johann Sebastian Bach’s flawless rendition of “Cello Suite No. 1” has been taking Classical Music enthusiast’s breath away for centuries. Beautifully presented in the key of G Major, Bach’s ‘Cello Suite No. 1’ is masterfully composed. Featuring intricately weaved highs and lows, ‘Cello Suite No. 1’ tells a story rich in eloquence and beauty.
Rachmoninov’s “Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini”
Softly, delicately, Rachmoninov introduces “Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini”. “Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini” has always reminded me of a great love affair: blossoming sweetly, tenderly, appealing to our heart, before escalating, burgeoning into full blown passion. Frame by frame, the intensity increases; evoking feelings of longing and desire. This is one classic beauty that never fails to amaze.
“Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2”
In bold fashion and style, Franz Liszt introduces his “Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2” in C-Sharp Minor. This masterful composition is an intricately designed and perfectly manifested piece of art. Conjuring up a whole range of emotions, including suspicion, pride, joy, sadness and more; the Hungarian Rhapsody is a perfect example of a powerful instrumental composition that works it’s way into hearts and never lets go. If you are looking for inspiration in the form of flawless musical orchestration, look no further.
Tchaikovsky’s “Piano Concerto No. 1”
Tchaikovsky is considered one of the greatest composers of all time for good reason. Upon listening to Tchaikovsky’s “Piano Concerto No. 1”, you are exposed to an intense array of emotions from sadness, anger, beauty and desire. From the first note, you are catapulted into a phenomenally intense, emotional masterpiece. Tchaikovsky’s works have remained in favor for his meticulously arranged compositions and for the passion that he injects into his music.
Debussy’s “Claire de Lune”
Claude Debussy’s genius lives on eternally with his classic “Claire de Lune”. Manifesting an energy of longing, remembrance, melancholy and love, “Claire de Lune” is an extraordinary arrangement that has the ability to creep into your soul, and change how you see the world. An absolute classic, it is no wonder “Claire de Lune” has withstood the test of time.
Chopin’s “Nocturne Op. 9, No. 2”
Chopin’s “Nocturne Op. 9, No. 2” as performed in E-flat is a beautiful and haunting song that has survived the test of time. Easily recognizable within the first few notes, “Nocturne Op.9, No. 2” has remained a popular classic for obvious reasons. Chopin masterfully weaved highs and lows, innocence and desire into this intricate and dreamy piece.
Vivaldi’s “Concerto for Two Violins in D Minor”
Antonio Vivaldi’s “Concerto for Two Violins in D Minor” is an excellent example of a lasting piece of Classical music. A vibrant orchestration that displays passion, intensity and skill. This piece is designed to be played specifically by two Violinists and a accompanying Cellist. The result is a beautiful, artful display of dueling violins with strong accents from the cello. This is an uptempo piece that is sure to delight.
Beethoven’s “Sonata No. 14, Op. 27, No. 2 in C Sharp Minor”
Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Sonata No. 14, Op. 27, No. 2”, or more commonly known as ‘Moonlight Sonata’, is a masterpiece of epic proportions. ‘Moonlight Sonata’ tells us a story: a tale blanketed with hunger, longing, determination and more. Beethoven’s work has withstood the test of time, standing strong over the centuries as a favorite of the Classical genre. Rife with intensity, emotion; perhaps a mirror into the embattled Beethoven’s soul. In terms of Classical composers, Ludwig van Beethoven was, is and ever will be the gold standard.
Mozart’s “Requiem Mass in D Minor”
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “Requiem Mass in D Minor” remains one of the most powerful and influential pieces of classical music to date. This heavy hitting piece is laced with tones of danger, sadness, alarm and more. This is one instrumental arrangement that will draw you in and never let go. Mozart’s Requiem Mass in D Minor’ delivers from beginning to end with such a level intensity that most composers could only dream of.
Pachelbel’s “Canon in D”
Johann Christoph Pachelbel’s Canon in D is a beloved and well known Baroque composition. With it’s beautiful collaboration of strings, organ and other accenting instruments, Canon in D, is a powerful yet delicious arrangement. The building intensity in this song is palpable. Starting off softly, delicately and eventually strengthening in speed, quickening of pace and show of passion. Especially loved by brides, Pachelbel’s ‘Canon in D’ serves as a wonderful alternative to the tradition Bridal Choral. Masterfully designed, ‘Canon in D’ has remained in favor for centuries, and to no surprise: laced with flawless beauty, elegance and intensity, Canon in D is an excellent example of an eternal classic.
Handel’s “Music for the Royal Fireworks IV: La Rejouissance”
George Handel’s “Music for the Royal Fireworks IV: La Rejouissance” is one of the most powerful arrangements ever created. “La Rejouissance” evokes feelings of royalty, pride and honor. With such a regal and boisterous tone, it is no wonder “La Rejouissance is still loved to this day.
George Winston “Sea”
Another brilliant modern age composer is George Winston. His work is brilliant and breathtaking as displayed in “Sea”. Manifesting emotions of danger, alarm, sadness and fear, George Winston proves that he knows how to unlock the human heart with his beautiful compositions. His complex, but meticulously delivered arrangements are nothing short of a masterpiece.
Dustin O’Halloran’s “Opus 23”
Dustin O’Halloran’s “Opus 23” is beautifully arranged and carefully executed. Displaying a somber tone, “Opus 23” takes a toll on the heart. Evoking feels of a love unrequited, “Opus 23” seeps into your soul and never lets go. Dustin O’Halloran is a modern day composer with massive potential and an astounding display of originality and skill.
Regardless of era, a beautiful song performed by a skilled musician transcends time and age. The names listed above, all masters of their craft, possessed an undeniable gift. The men discussed above were given the raw talent of transforming thoughts, emotions, dreams into an audible sound so breathtaking that their songs continue to be heard centuries after their death. Their pieces of work continue to live on in a show of ethereal beauty.