Friday, February 21, 2014

Classical music to fuel your daily workout

Here's an excerpt from an article I wrote for Classical Minnesota Public Radio. Read the full article here

Even for classical music lovers, classical isn't often the go-to genre for exercise music. Many people prefer steady, pulsing music for their workouts, but classical music is full of dynamic shifts: even loud, forceful pieces typically have at least one quiet passage, so if you turn the volume up to hear these passages, your ears might suddenly be blasted with fortissimo trombones or earsplitting percussion.


If you can see past the volume shift drawback, the classical canon does offer some killer workout music. "Killer" seems an especially appropriate adjective in this case, because most of the music I chose is programmatic with elements of militarism or ferocity. I created this playlist especially for strength training, but I think it would also accompany cardio workouts well.

1. “Mars”
From Gustav Holst's The Planets. An obvious choice, but undeniably effective. 

2. “Lord Melbourne (War Song)”
This 5th movement of Lincolnshire Posy by Percy Grainger has plenty of aggressive brass. 

3. “Festive Overture”
A more cheerful but still invigorating selection. I always thought this Dmitri Shostakovich composition was written for concert band, but I recently learned it was originally an orchestral piece. 
See the full playlist and videos here

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