Can We Talk About Beauty for a Minute? 10 Pieces of Classical Music That Can Lift You Higher

“Where words fail, music speaks.” — Hans Christian Anderson

Photo by Niilo Isotalo on Unsplash

Beauty. It transports us. It inspires us.

It takes our breath away… when we let it.
It captures us, mesmerizes us… when we yield to it.

Harry Haller in Herman Hesse’s Steppenwolf was a troubled man who felt himself a misfit, ill-suited for the world of everyday, regular people. The one place where he felt a deliverance from this discomfort was at the concert hall where he found himself lifted, by beauty, beyond the cares of this world. Music served as a form of salvation.

I’ve known the feeling, the power of music. Like Harry Haller, the sweet strains of anguished beauty have also transported me, at times, enabled me to utterly forget the cares of this world. For this reason I offer you here some of the music I’ve found comforting, soul-soothing, uplifting, nourishing. The links will take you to YouTube videos that you may enjoy as time permits in this harried age in which we live. * * * *

1. Air on the G-String, Johannes Bach

This YouTube video has had over 50 million views, a tribute to the enduring legacy of Johannes Bach. This is not my favorite version, however. The version that most transports me is a solo piano version played by Henry Wiens. His CD Quiet Classics can be found on CD Baby. Hear a brief sample here.

2. Prelude in E Minor, Op. 28, №4, by Chopin

When I heard this piece of music in the film Five Easy Pieces it spoke to me, as did all things Chopin. French novelist George Sand once wrote that she considered the beauty of Chopin’s music to be evidence that there was a God. I took two and a half years of piano lessons and learned a number of simplified versions of his music when I was young. When I saw the film again in the 90s I bought the sheet music and worked at learning it. The chord progressions are marvelous, the lingering pace that makes you ache… words fail again.

3. On Earth As It Is In Heaven, by Ennio Morricone

This is a live performance of the Theme from The Mission. It elevates me like almost nothing else.

4. Adagio opus 11, by Samuel Barber

This piece of music served as a thread that wove its way through Oliver Stone’s tragic Platoon. It is also effective in the very sad story of John Merrick, the Elephant Man (Anthony Hopkins, John Hurt). A powerful film about what it means to be human.

5. Clarinet Concerto In A Major K 622 Adagio, by Mozart

It is remarkable how much this young man achieved in the course of such a short life. How did he do it?

6. Ballade №1 in G minor, by Chopin

7. Sonata for Piano №8 in C minor, Op. 13, Pathetique, Adagio, by Beethoven

8. Elvira Madigan, by Mozart

9. Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony, Second Movement

10. Erik Satie’s Once Upon A Time In Paris

This opens with such poignant lilting delicacy… How was it conceived? It moistens eyes and causes one to bow the head.

Related Links

Healing the Hurting Through Music
Quiet Heart Music

Meantime life goes on all around you. Listen to the music.

Originally published at

An avid reader who writes about arts, culture, literature & other life obsessions. @ennyman3 Look for my books on Amazon

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