Classical Favorites

According to research — whose, I don’t know — blog readers love lists. This is why you see so many “top 10” posts, and variations on the theme of “5 things I can’t live without.”

I’ll admit I love lists, too. Lists appeal to that logical, orderly part of my brain that needs structure. Without that part of my brain, I’d be off in some creative, imaginative world, floating around, spinning in circles, and never touching earth again.

Recently I visited Living Free and Making a Difference, an art, travel, and nature blog I enjoy reading. There, Mrs. Wayfarer had shared a “New Wave” playlist, songs she enjoyed listening to while painting. I knew at once that I would have to do the same. My playlist, however, isn’t New Wave, but classical.

A lot of folks are hesitant about classical music. It sounds stuffy. It’s boring. It’s intellectual. Right? Well, some of it can be, I’ll admit. But much of it is lush and lovely, rich with inspirations, and teeming with emotions.

I often turn on one of my Pandora stations or a Sirius classical station while I’m painting. At other times, especially if I’m seeking a specific emotion, I’ll choose a work from my CD collection.

Here, in no particular order, are a few classical favorites from my Painting Playlist.

The Lark Ascending – Ralph Vaughn Williams

Cello Concerto in B Minor – Antonin Dvorak

Symphony No. 1 in D Minor – Ernst van Dohnanyi

Cantus Articus – Einojuhani Rautavaara

Gymnopedies and Gnoissienes- Erik Satie

May Night – Selim Palmgren

Piano Concerto 1 and 2 – Anton Rubinstein

Carmina Burana – Carl Orff

Pavane Pour Une Infante Defunte – Maurice Ravel

Perhaps you are familiar with many of these. If so, I hope you’ll take this opportunity to enjoy listening. Or, maybe you’ve never become acquainted with classical music or aren’t familiar with these composers. In that case, I truly hope you’ll click a few links and give this music a chance to introduce itself to you and your life.






About Judith

As an artist, author, and musician, I celebrate creativity and personal expression through all that I do. I invite you to join me as I explore many different aspects of life, love, beauty, and nature.


  1. I enjoyed listening to Carmina Burana and the Ravel piece. I love classical, of course I like country and rock and folk and international too!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for sharing this list, I love listening to classical music, especially when painting! I’m always looking for new music so I will explore your suggestions! I recently discovered the piano music of Gabríel Ólafs, it’s very relaxing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Are you familiar with Philip Glass? If you like Olafs, you might enjoy Glass, as well. I hope you’ll find a few pieces you like on my list. 🙂


  3. I just listened to Erik Satie, I love it! I will check out Philip Glass next, thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Satie is so soothing. I love to play the Gymnopedies and just drift off into a dream-like state. Did you listen to Cantus Arcticus yet? It’s different… and ideal to listen to on a miserably hot day! It always makes me feel cool! We heard it performed live with the KC Symphony last season. It’s always been a favorite of mine, so that was a real treat.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m not a big music person–way more visually attuned than to what I hear! But my husband is a great fan and very knowledgeable about classical music, and I have always loved Vaughn William’s Lark Ascending. It is so beautiful making you yearn to follow it up into the sky!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you, Judith! Music does wonders to the mind and soul. I was captivated listening to your list.

    Liked by 1 person

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