Relax Radio

Keep calm & carry on.

Music for reading: Five classical compositions to curl up with

4213fd 20150611 reading
Erich Ferdinand CC BY 2.0

When reading a good book, the world picks itself up and rearranges things into a different perspective. Music does that too. When combined, the two are amazing conduits to spaces that are timeless and wholly dreamy. You can find these spaces in these five compositions.

Antonio Vivaldi's Four Seasons: Winter

A little darker and fast-paced than what most people would prefer when reading, Vivaldi constructs a piece that would be perfectly paired with an intense spy novel. The track gathers slow and fast movements, building drama and intensity that captivates in its whirlwind.

Adagio in G Minor by Tomaso Albinoni

Reading a love story that is sure to pull at the heartstrings and make your tear ducts burst? Take a listen to Albinoni's Adagio to heighten your emotions. The composition has a very simple elegance: what is felt in the spaces left between the notes is perhaps even more important than the notes themselves.

Romance for Violin and Orchestra No. 1 in G Major, Op. 40 by Ludwig Van Beethoven

In classical music, calling a piece a "romance" doesn't necessarily mean that it's romantic in the kissy-kissy sense — but in this case, that interpretation fits. Lush and dense, like any love story should be, Beethoven's orchestral masterpiece pulls you along, fills you with doubt, then gives you hope that love will last.

Holberg Suite, Op. 40 - IV. Air (Andante religioso) by Edvard Grieg

Composed by Grieg to celebrate playwright Ludvig Holberg, this suite reaches right into the soul and forces you to feel all emotions at once. The original piece was intended for the piano, but was later adapted for strings, which take the piece's passion to the next level.

Nuages (Clouds) by Claude Debussy

It's difficult to close your eyes when reading, but this piece may have you putting down your book and imagining yourself floating through the clouds during a night sky. Constantly moving, this composition is perfect to pair with a calming book to end the evening.

Youa Vang is appreciative of all genres of music — even country. When not writing about music, she can be found working on her standup comedy and cross-stitching mischievous sayings while watching The Simpsons.

4213fd 20150611 reading
Erich Ferdinand CC BY 2.0